The father of a murder victim has exploded two hand grenades within a courtroom, killing himself, one of the defendants and wounding ten others.
The incident took place in Nikopol, a city within the Dnipropetrovsk area of Ukraine. The man in question died instantly.
Three defendants, an employee of the court, two convoy officers and one civilian were among those hurt during the blast, and were taken to hospital. However, this number could be higher according to some reports.
A police spokesman later confirmed the death of the second person – one of the defendants.
The trial taking place concerned an alleged February 2016 murder, where the man’s son was discovered to have been fatally shot with a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
According to the Kyiv Post, the man detonated the hand grenades after he heard how the hearing was to be adjourned, just as the defendants were being placed in handcuffs.
This was reportedly the 21st hearing of the court trial, which had been postponed once more because one of the defence lawyers had failed to shown up.
Oleg Groz, the chief officer of the Nikopol Criminal Police, told journalists:
When he heard that the hearing had been postponed again, he stood up and threw a grenade at the three defendants.
The second grenade blew up in his hands.
The force of the explosion shattered a TV and partially ripped a door from its hinges. The windows of the courtroom were also completely destroyed during the blast, with images showing how the blinds dangled through the smashed glass panes.
Troubling pictures of the aftermath showed blood spatters on the floor as well as debris and burn marks. Another photograph showed an injured individual being carried away from the building on a stretcher.
A total of 11 people were taken to the hospital.
One of the defendants died there.
This devastating incident has shocked people from all over the world. One person tweeted: ‘That is truly a tragedy’ whereas another commented: ‘So much for the security in Ukraine courtrooms’.
Investigative officers are said to be on the scene.
That is truly a tragedy. ?
— Deb (@foodlover1958) November 30, 2017
So much for the security in Ukraine courtrooms
— BWE (@Bgolf45) November 30, 2017
Following the incident, concerns have been raised about the ready availability of weapons following the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
According to the Kyiv Post, police officers believe the murder at the heart of the trial was an assassination as part of a ‘turf war’ between rival gangs within the city.
Two businessmen, including the man’s son, were reportedly blocked inside a car in broad daylight by three people driving two cars, and were then murdered with Kalashnikov machine guns.
More information on this case will follow when available.