Gunman Opens Fire, Kills 2 at Moscow Service Center After Being Told to Put on Mask

Russian officials reported Tuesday that two people were killed and four others were wounded after a gunman opened fire in a Moscow government service center after being told to put on a face mask.

The man took out a gun and started shooting in the building after arguing with a security guard who told the man to put on a face mask, state news agency Tass reported, citing an unidentified law enforcement source.

The Russian Interior Ministry said in a statement that the gunman entered "and started firing at the citizens there, after which he tried to hide," France 24 reported.

The Moscow Times reported that four people—three adults and a 10-year-old—were wounded. The adults were being operated on and the child was taken to a children's hospital in serious condition, Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said in a statement on Telegram.

"Doctors are doing all they can to help those wounded," Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

Rakova said the two people killed were an administrator and a security guard who were employees at the center.

France 24 reported "two people were killed on the spot from their injuries," the statement said.

France 24 reported that employees and visitors of Ryazansky Public Offices were "immediately" evacuated after the shooting started, Rakova said.

According to Russian Interior Ministry spokesperson Irina Volk, the suspect is a 45-year-old Moscow resident.

The Moscow Times said that several agencies reported that the gunman was a former military serviceman.

The office where the shooting occurred handles a variety of administrative issues for southeastern Moscow, the Moscow Times reported.

Moscow, Russia, Shooting, Mask
Police guard an area near the Moscow government services center in Moscow, Russia, on December 7, 2021, after a gunman opened fire and killed two people, reportedly after being told to put on a face mask, authorities and Russia media said. Four other people were wounded. Artem Taranenko/Moscow News Agency photo/AP Photo

Sobyanin said on Twitter that a suspect was detained. Sobyanin didn't offer any details about the assailant or his possible motive, saying only that the incident took place in the southeast of the city.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public places like the municipal services center, where residents apply for passports, obtain real estate documents and get help with other bureaucratic tasks.

Russia's Interfax news agency reported, also citing an unnamed source, that a Glock handgun was found at the site of the shooting. Ownership of handguns and other short-barreled weapons is severely restricted in Russia. Only professional sports shooters are allowed to own them, and the weapons must be stored at shooting clubs.

Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into the fatal shooting on charges of murder and illegal arms trafficking. If convicted, the assailant could face life in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Moscow, Russia, Shooting, Dead
Police officers and investigators work at the scene of a shooting in a public services office in Moscow, Russia, on December 7, 2021. Two people were killed and four were injured when a gunman opened fire inside the office, city authorities said. Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP/Getty Images