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10:32 23 October
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Moscow court shooting: Three 'Grand Theft Auto' gang members killed in bungled bid to escape trial


Three members of a so-called "Grand Theft Auto gang" have been killed in a shootout during a bungled attempt to escape a Moscow courthouse, according to The Telegraph.

 

Five defendants accused of murdering more than a dozen motorists are reported by Russian media to have attacked their guards, grabbing firearms and attempting to take hostages.

 

Russia's Investigative Committee said the attempted getaway started while the five handcuffed men were being escorted by two guards in an elevator at the Moscow Regional Court where they were standing trial.

 

One is said to have tried to strangle a guard before the defendants seized the officers' weapons and the group managed to escape, according to officials.

 

Three of the defendants were killed and two others wounded in a gunfight with the court's guards. Three guards were injured and taken to hospital, the committee said.

 

Two other people have been injured after the gunfight broke out in the courtroom, which is in a suburb of the city.

 

Moscow region's health ministry said that a 45-year-old man and 40-year-old woman were taken to hospital from the Moscow Regional Court with gunshot wounds.

 

Russian news agencies earlier quoted a lawyer who was at the courthouse and saw a guard and a court official injured in the crossfire.

 

Authorities said the incident took place during a hearing in a case of a gang of nine suspected of killing more than a dozen of motorists.

 

Russian media dubbed the accused "the Grand Theft Auto gang" after the violent video game.

 

The men on trial are accused of terrorizing Moscow motorists over several months in 2014.

 

Prosecutors said the gang members were placing spikes on roads, forcing the motorists out of their vehicles and shooting them dead.

 

The nine men, all from Central Asia, are charged with 17 murders and two attempted murders.

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