Several wounded in Moscow Regional Court shootout

Moscow shooting

Three people being taken to stand trial in a Moscow court were shot dead after they tried to grab sidearms from court security officers and escape, Russian law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Russia's Investigative Committee said the incident happened when five handcuffed defendants were escorted by two guards in a lift.

At least three people have been killed and two wounded in a shootout at a court in Moscow, Russian news agencies said.

A Russian National Guard member sustained a gunshot wound and was taken to hospital, the ministry said in a statement.

The members of the GTA Gang, which took its name after a computer game, are charged with murders of auto drivers in Moscow, the Moscow and neighboring Kaluga regions in 2012-2014.

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The gang would lay spikes on roads outside Moscow to stop cars and kill the driver and passengers at night, always with 9mm pistols. In the melee, the defendants managed to break free and stole the officer's weapons.

A criminal investigation has been launched into the attack, and the court has since resumed work, TASS said.

The men on trial are accused of terrorising Moscow motorists for months in 2014.

A lawyer at the court, Sofya Rubasskaya, told AFP: "I heard shots, there were more than 20 shots".

Every one of the five suspects were cuffed as they were being taken to a court, Russia's Investigative Committee said. She was injured, her face was [covered] in blood.

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