Russian security officer dead, 5 injured in Moscow shooting

Russian police secure an area near the Federal Security Service building in Moscow on Dec. 19, 2019.
(Associated Press )

An unidentified gunman opened fire Thursday outside the Moscow headquarters of Russia’s top security agency, killing one officer and wounding five others, officials said.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said the assailant was acting alone and didn’t enter its building. Earlier, it said the assailant had been “neutralized” — a term usually used by Russian officials when an assailant is killed.

The Health Ministry said that five other people were wounded in the shooting, including two security officers who were badly injured by the gunman. One of the wounded is a civilian, said Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for Russia’s main criminal investigation body.


The FSB, which is the main successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, wouldn’t give further details or comment on the attacker’s motives.

The FSB said the shooting occurred near its main headquarters on Lubyanka Square, about half a mile from Red Square.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the shooting, which occurred shortly after the Russian leader’s annual news conference.

Around the time of the shooting, Putin, a KGB veteran, gave a speech at a Kremlin concert for FSB and other Russian security personnel.

In a speech marking the founding of the Soviet secret police, Putin hailed officers for their efforts in combating terrorism and organized crime.

In a video shared on social media, loud shots and bangs can be heard just outside the FSB main headquarters. One video featured a burst of gunfire directed at the FSB building, bullets hitting its walls.


Robert Anchipolovsky, an Israeli musician, was en route to his concert in Moscow when he started filming the street from his car. As he started recording, the shooting began.

“I thought it was fireworks and then I saw how police started to fall on the tarmac and crouch down,” Anchipolovsky told the Associated Press.

Hours after the shooting, the area around the FSB headquarters remained blocked and public transportation was rerouted. Law enforcement officers flooded the scene.