Rize police chief killed, 3 officers hurt in shooting at department in northeastern Turkey

Published 11.12.2018 15:30
Updated 11.12.2018 18:01
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

A police chief has died and three others were wounded in a shooting by a disgruntled police officer Tuesday at Rize Police Department in northeastern Turkey.

|AA ImageProvincial Police Director Altuğ Verdi was taken to the hospital in critical condition but doctors were unable to save his life, Rize Governor Kemal Çeber said.

Staff Branch Manager Ercan Polat and two other police officers were also wounded in the attack but were not in critical condition, according to Demirören News Agency.

The unidentified suspect, who was wounded and arrested, was a Rize policeman who worked in the traffic department. Çeber said the suspect, who was arrested after the attack, was serving in the province's Derepazarı district and sought a new assignment in central Rize.

"In line with the security procedure, he checked out his pistol in the front desk outside police chief's room. When his request for reassignment was rejected by the police chief, he returned to the desk, grabbed his gun and stormed into the room," Çeber said.

Çeber added that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called him to receive information about the incident.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said the deputy minister and general director of Turkish National Police were heading to Rize.

Special operations teams entered the building after gunshots were heard and precautions were taken to secure the premises.

46-year-old Verdi, a married father of one, had served as Rize Provincial Police Director since August 2017. He previously served on former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's protection team, U.N. Kosovo Peace Force, U.N. Haiti Peace Force and at the Turkish consulate in Jerusalem, in addition to various assignments in different ranks abroad.

Yıldırım, who now serves as the parliament speaker, offered his condolences to Verdi's family.

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