Sanok gun tragedy – background








A murder suspect and his 17-year-old friend have been reported dead after police stormed an apartment in south-east Poland following a 19-hour stand-off.

Officers attempting to arrest 32-year-old Andrzej B (pictured) on suspicion of murder entered the apartment at ulica Cegielniana 14, Sarnok, 200km east of Kraków, on January 11 at about 1.45am. Just two hours earlier police had issued a statement that Andrzej, son of a police officer, and the 17-year-old woman with him, should surrender voluntarily.

But initial reports from the scene say that officers involved in the raid discovered the bodies of a man and a woman, with gunshot wounds. Suicide is the suspected cause of both deaths – but a police spokesman added that Andrzej B, also known as Żółwik (Turtle) may have shot the teenager and then killed himself. Handguns and a hunting rifle were found at the scene.

Police arrived at the block at 7am on January 10. They attempted to arrest Andrzej B on suspicion of murder, at noon, but four shots were fired at police vehicles. By 6pm, electricity supplies to the whole area around ulica Cegielniana in Sanok had been cut, and anti-terror officers were stationed on stairwells inside block number 14. Helicopters had been drafted in from Warsaw for support.

Residents from surrounding blocks were evacuated, and children from the local secondary school (school number 4), primary school (number 4) and nursery (number 2) were sent home early on January 10. However, there were still some residents inside block 14 as late as 1am on January 11. All residents were allowed back to their homes and electricity supplies had been restored by 6am on January 11.

A spokesman for Podkarpacie police said before the raid that officers had attempted to communicate with the murder suspect, but that he had refused to negotiate. He added that police did not want to storm the building, as it was essential that Andrzej B ‘surrender voluntarily’.

The man that police were attempting to arrest was a 32-year-old named as Andrzej B, son of a former police officer, and is believed to have lived in the apartment for around three years. He had a criminal record, including drug, assault and theft offences. He was wanted in connection with the murder of 29-year-old Krystian L, who was found dead outside a church in Sanok on January 9, at around 7am, with two gunshot wounds to the back of his head.

It is not known why the 17-year-old woman was in the apartment with the suspect, but understands that she was not being held hostage.

The local news portal was first on the scene, and its reports stated that the neighbourhood around the apartment was ‘in panic’.



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