Mass shooting leaves six dead in Georgia’s Sagarejo

20 January 2023
Police on the scene in Sagarejo. Photo: Giorgi Zhamerashvili/IPN.

A gunman in the east Georgian town of Sagarejo has killed five people and left another five injured before taking his own life.

The 49-year-old man reportedly began shooting with an automatic rifle from both balconies of his third-floor flat, including one overlooking the interior yard, in the early hours of Friday morning. 

The man reportedly shot dead four of his neighbours, as well as a police officer, Otar Ghvinashvili, 38, who authorities confirmed died on his way to hospital. A 21-year-old man remains in critical condition.

Around 05:00, Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri reported that the shooter had shot himself in the head as security forces entered his flat. He added that they had to sweep the area after discovering pins from hand grenades.

According to the Interior Minister, the shooter was a former member of the armed forces who served from 2006–2021, including in Afghanistan.

Gomelauri confirmed neighbours’ reports that the shooter’s adult son had fled the flat after his father started shooting.

The incident was first reported by a doctor at a local hospital, who complained on Facebook that doctors were unable to approach the scene to help the wounded.