Crime Watch

Wedding Guest Shoots Two Guards

Jul 19, 2006
The Moscow Times

A wedding reception in central Moscow turned bloody early Sunday morning when one of the guests shot two security guards at a local casino following an argument over a parking space, leaving one guard dead and the second seriously injured, police said.

According to police, Yury Korolyov, 27, pulled up to the Golden Elephant restaurant at 24 3rd Ulitsa Yamskogo Polya just before 2 a.m. Sunday to attend a wedding reception.

Korolyov's parking job left something to be desired, however. His Skoda Octavia was blocking the narrow, garishly lit street not far from Belorussky Station, and this caught the attention of security guards at the Golden Palace Casino, located across the road from the restaurant, a police source told Interfax.

"The security guards walked over and asked Korolyov to move his car," the source said. "But he categorically refused, and said that if they didn't stop harassing him he would start shooting. After that he pulled a gun out of his car and opened fire."

One of the security guards died on the spot from gunshot wounds. The second was taken to the hospital in a serious condition, police spokesman Viktor Maximov said.

Korolyov fled the scene in his Skoda, but other security guards from the casino managed to memorize his license plate number, Maximov said, adding that Korolyov was intoxicated at the time of the shooting.

Korolyov was arrested later on Sunday at his apartment in southern Moscow and has been charged with murder, said Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for the City Prosecutor's Office.

If convicted, Korolyov could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

"All of it was right out of an action movie," Vadim Radikevich, head of Golden Palace security, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Sunday's murder was at least the second in two months tangentially connected to a Moscow wedding.

Last month, a groom's best man was arrested during a wedding reception at a restaurant in northeastern Moscow and charged with strangling his girlfriend and burying her body in a nearby forest. Police said the murder was a fake kidnapping gone awry.

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