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Three Moscow police officers are to receive awards for bravery following
Three Moscow police officers are to receive awards for bravery following the arrest of a drunk senior policeman who went on a shooting rampage earlier this week, killing thee people and injuring six, a newspaper reported.

Denis Yevsyukov's killing spree in southern Moscow has sent shockwaves through the police force, prompting the dismissals of top police officials. The government has promised immediate measures, including tightened discipline and staff checks.

Izvestia quoted Vladimir Petrusenko, south Moscow's police patrol commander, as saying: "We are submitting recommendations for awards to be given to all three officers... They deserve this."

The officers - Andrei Borodich, 31, Alexei Kontiyev, 32, and Sergei Monakhov, 33, were manning a police post near the Ostrov supermarket on Shipilovakaya Street on Monday night.

When Yevsyukov stormed into the store shortly after midnight, firing shots at staff and customers after having murdered a taxi driver, one of the cashiers managed to raise the alarm.

Police said that if the officers had not arrived at the scene so quickly, the shooting would have continued, and many more people could have died. The three officers had the right to kill the attacker on the spot, but took him alive.

"We arrived at the Ostrov supermarket, and immediately saw the Chevrolet with its driver shot dead," Kontiyev told the paper.

"Then we saw an injured young male, who later died in hospital. People ran up to us, shaken, telling us there was a policemen raising hell at the entrance to the shop. At first we could not believe that it was a police officer."

"We drove into the yard just at the moment he was forcing women out of the storeroom at gunpoint and lining them up against the wall. We lit up the yard with our headlights and ordered him to drop his weapon. Instead, he began firing shots at us. My partner Sergei Monakhov jumped into a garbage dumpster and I hid round the corner. A shootout began. Bullets hit the dumpster, but didn't penetrate it."

Soon afterwards a second patrol car arrived, with Andrei Borodich. Yevsyukov tried to run away, and the officers chased him in the dark, with the help of the store guards.

When the officers got near the killer, he fired a shot at Borodich, who had no bullet proof vest, at a range of two meters, but miraculously missed. Borodich then knocked the gun out of Yesyukov's hand.

"Then a struggle began. The killer resisted, but the three of us held him down and put the handcuffs on. Yevsyukov, incidentally, did not seem particularly drunk. But the look in his eyes was totally insane, like an animal. He swore and yelled 'I'll kill you, I'll lock you all up,' but we still didn't believe he was a police officer."

Following the incident, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed the chief of the Moscow police, Col.-Gen. Vladimir Pronin. The president also fired police Maj.-Gen. Viktor Ageyev, who headed the police department in the Southern Administrative District.

Pronin, who personally visited the scene of the crime and spoke to Yevsyukov hours after the killings, told Russian media that the killer had until then been considered a good officer with strong potential, having served 14 years on the force without complaints from colleagues.

After questioning him, Pronin said: "His eyes were like saucers - he was not aware of anything and remembered nothing of what had happened - he just cried."

However, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily quoted colleagues of Yevsyukov, who headed the Tsaritsino district police department, as saying he had a history of arbitrary violent behavior.

Yevsyukov reportedly attacked several people with pepper spray in a restaurant one evening last year, and had to be dragged out of the building by officers from a nearby patrol post. However, colleagues told the paper that the incident was hushed up, and the officer was promoted to district police chief that December.

Colleagues said Yevsyukov was widely disliked in his department. Almost all the female officers under his command had resigned since December, complaining of intolerably rude treatment. In recent months he reportedly showed up drunk at work on several occasions.

Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said on Tuesday in an interview with Russia's Vesti news channel that the ministry would provide support and assistance to all the victims and their families and would carry out inspections of Moscow police departments.

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