Terror in European Capital: Man Steals Assault Rifle from Police and Goes on the Run + Pics

Terror in European Capital: Man Steals Assault Rifle from Police and Goes on the Run + Pics
Tue Nov 24, 2015 14:51:30

A European capital was plunged into terror after a handcuffed man stole a military-grade assault rifle from police and went on the run.

The terrifying incident sparked a mass lockdown and a five-hour search involving as many as 3,000 police officers in Vilnius, Lithuania.

It is thought that the man stole a Kalashnikov AK-74 rifle with enough bullets to kill 30 people after he escaped from custody.

The assault weapon has been used by militaries around the world and fires at a speed of 650 rounds per minute.

Initial reports suggested the suspect – Igor Molotkov –  had grabbed the gun from an officer’s hands and threatened to shoot, but officials later claimed the weapon was left unattended.

Anti-terror units were called in to aid with the manhunt, and a border agency helicopter was scrambled.

Residents were warned to stay away from windows as police closed exits around the city and cancelled public events.

After hours of frantic searching the armed man was found hiding in the shower in his own apartment.

The man – who is thought to have drug and mental health issues – now faces up to 10 years in prison.

A red-faced police spokesman blamed the incident on a “technical error” after it emerged the man had managed to travel on a bus carrying the rifle.

Interior minister Saulius Skvernelis, who was forced to step down after the drama on Thursday, slammed the situation as “completely unprofessional and lamentable.”

It is the latest in a series of blunders since Lithuanian police officers were handed powerful weapons in response to the terror attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead.

A homeless man was accidentally shot in the leg by an officer last week just days after interior minister Saulius Skvernelis was forced to resign over the manhunt chaos.






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