Bullet fired in Tallinn flew to Germany

Aslan Tangijev sai selle nädalal alguses politseilt tagasi oma kuuliauguga auto. Kuul leiti üles Saksamaal.

PHOTO: Mihkel Maripuu

A German family discovered a bullet among their belongings when unpacking after returning from a trip to Tallinn. The bullet had ended up in the family’s luggage on June 21 when a taxi they were taking to the airport was shot in Telliskivi district.

We know that the Munich family of four had one large suitcase, two smaller bags and a backpack with them. Only the Germans themselves know which bag produced the stray bullet. The latter is now in possession of the Bavarian police and will be destroyed as it is of no further use in the investigation.

Estonian technical investigators were baffled when they could not find the bullet in the taxi of 31-year-old Aslan Tangijev at which it was shot. The car’s tail end has a hole on one side but not the other, meaning that the bullet couldn’t have gone through the vehicle. And yet, no bullet was found inside the car.

Tangijev’s vehicle was finally returned to him earlier this week after it was impounded on the day of the Telliskivi shooting for forensic analysis.

Lacking access to his taxi caused Tangijev, who surrendered the vehicle to the police voluntarily, quite a bit of trouble.

The taxi driver lost his income. The man has a daughter and another child on the way.

Tangijev also didn’t have the money to make leasing payments and claims that the bank turned a deaf ear to his force majeure situation. A notice from the PPA did nothing to sway the credit institution.

“To tell you the truth, I’m tired of it all. What can I do? Life goes on. I’ll manage somehow,” Tangijev, who will soon be back behind the wheel of his taxi, said.

“I know what I saw”

In the early hours of Friday, June 21, Tangijev was driving a German family he had picked up in the Kalamaja district – a man, a woman and two children – to the airport via Telliskivi street.

Tangijev’s compressed gas-powered Skoda Octavia was drawing near to a taxi stop in front of the Telliskivi Creative Campus when Raivo Jürimäe (30) opened fire on 32-year-old Maksim who was sitting in his taxi. Maksim died at the scene.

Jürimäe then walked to a Toyota Corolla painted in the livery of Takso24 and shot the driver Sergei four times, seriously wounding him. The shooter ignored a vehicle that lacked taxi markings and was parked between the victims’ cars.

Sergei was taken to the hospital where he had to be placed in an induced coma. He has been brought out of it by now.

Tangijev, who saw the shooting, hesitated for a moment before slamming the gas and driving off. He claims Jürimäe had noticed his taxi sign and moved between Sergei’s vehicle and another car to fire at him right-handed.

Investigators disagree. “CCTV footage suggests he was aiming at a different vehicle, while the bullet likely ricocheted and hit the taxi driving past,” spokesperson for the North Prefecture Marie Aava said.

“I know what I saw. I have no reason to lie,” Tangijev stood his ground.

Because no one in the car had been hurt, Tangijev decided to drive on. He knew someone would report the incident.

The bullet entered the trunk of Tangijev’s Skoda from the left side. The taxi driver discovered the bullet’s entry point an hour later and returned to the scene to talk to police officers.

21 minutes to Nabala

The alarm center received at least four calls immediately after the shooting in Telliskivi. More tips came in as the day progressed, including regarding Jürimäe’s location.

Several people had told the alarm center they had spotted Jürimäe in Nabala that lies a few dozen kilometers from the capital. North Prefect Kristjan Jaani said a man had called the alarm center, while Postimees wrote about a female caller. Both are right, the police now say. There were at least two callers.

The alarm center received the first tip regarding Jürimäe’s location at 1.50 p.m. and forwarded the information to the police.

Head of the offenses against the person service of the North Prefecture’s criminal bureau Hisko Vares said the police were checking several tips and addresses outside Harju County simultaneously. At 2.12 p.m., information of a possible sihgting in Nabala reached a patrol that started from Tallinn and arrived at 2.33 p.m. The shooter took his own life at a bus stop when he saw the officers approaching.

How did the German family get through airport security with a bullet lodged between their belongings? How were they allowed to board their flight? Security experts provided a simple explanation.

Airport security is the task of G4S Estonia. Spokesperson Reimo Raja said that airport security checks look for cartridges.

“This time, we were dealing with a bullet that was already fired and is essentially just a piece of lead. In other words, a bullet already fired is not a prohibited article, while a cartridge is,” Raja explained.