Two Dead in Moscow After Argument Over Masks

( Russian officials confirmed two people were killed and another four injured on Monday after a gunman opened fire in a Moscow government service center after being told to put on a face mask.

After arguing with a security guard who told the man to put on a mask, the man pulled out a gun and started shooting. In a statement on the incident, the Russian Interior Ministry said the gunman fired at people the Ryazansky Public Offices then “tried to hide.”

Three adults and a ten-year-old child were injured in the shooting. All four were hospitalized, and the child was listed in serious condition.

According to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, an administrator and a security guard were killed, and doctors are doing everything they can for the wounded.

The Interior Ministry said the suspect is a 45-year-old Moscow resident and several agencies reported that he was a former military serviceman. A law enforcement officer on the scene was able to capture and “neutralize” the gunman.

According to the Daily Mail, the suspect is 45-year-old Sergei Glazov, a former member of the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence services. The Mail reports that Glazov believes coronavirus is a conspiracy theory, though how the Daily Mail knows that is anybody’s guess.

In a post on Twitter, Mayor Sobyanin confirmed that the suspect was detained, but didn’t offer specific details about the assailant or his possible motive.

Russia’s Interfax news agency cited an unnamed source who said a Glock handgun was found at the scene. Private ownership of pistols and short-barreled firearms is severely restricted in Russia.

While mass shootings in Russia are rare, this year there were already two. After a shooting at a university and another at a school, Russian lawmakers tightened laws regulating access to firearms. Russian authorities blame their recent spate of shootings on the United States, claiming young Russians have been exposed to school shootings in the US and are mimicking the trend.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into the fatal shooting. If convicted, the suspect could face life in prison.