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A Moscow police officer has been charged with hooliganism after
A Moscow police officer has been charged with hooliganism after a drunken attack that left one man in intensive care, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper said on Thursday.

The incident took place on November 2 when the police officer in question, 31-year-old Sergei Tararushkin, was drinking with friends near a forest in the northeast of Moscow.

It was around midnight when the drunken Tararushkin reportedly said to his friends, "Let's go into the forest and shoot! I've got plenty of ammo!" His companions declined the offer.

Gripping his service pistol, Tararushkin then set off home through the forest along a narrow path. When he eventually came out of the woods he noticed a young couple standing near the entranceway to a nearby block of flats.

The inebriated police officer then aimed his pistol at the head of 27-year-old Sergei Shapovalov, himself an off-duty police officer, and pulled the trigger. Fortunately for Shapovalov, the gun failed to go off.

However, Tararushkin fixed the problem with his weapon and shot his colleague in the stomach. His second and third shots hit Shapovalov's companion, 22-year-old Yuliya Nikishina, a local nursery school teacher, in the shoulder and the foot.

Another man at the scene, an acquaintance of the injured police officer, returned fire, hitting the drunken assailant in the chest. Wounded, Tararushkin fled, and was picked up by police ten minutes later outside his own block of flats. He was reportedly unable to fully comprehend what had happened.

Shapovalov is in intensive care fighting for his life. Nikishina underwent a four-hour operation and is doing well.

As for Tararushkin, the Moscow police officer was sent home on hooliganism charges after signing a pledge not to leave the city. Further charges may be brought, however.

"The police often complain that they are neither liked nor respected," wrote the Komsomolskaya Pravda paper, which also printed a photo of an off-duty Tararushkin posing next to a waxwork figure of Adolf Hitler. "But let's look at the news from across the whole country - 'Police officer fired for drunken outrage...for theft...for beating someone up.'"

The paper also reminded its readers of a recent case in the central Russian city of Saratov when three drunken police officers burnt a man alive after failing to force him to sign a confession on charges of theft.

"And after this, are we expected to like the police?" asked the paper.

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