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Gunman Killed After Attacking Estonian Defense Ministry

Gunman killed by police after entering Estonia’s Defense Ministry and opening fire.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/11/2011, 10:00 PM

A man armed with a pistol entered Estonia’s Defense Ministry on Thursday and opened fire, but police stormed the building and killed him.

The Associated Press reported that during the gunfire, many ministry employees escaped by jumping from first-floor windows. No one was hurt. Defense Minister Mart Laar was not in the building at the time.

Earlier reports said the gunman had tried to take hostages in the building, but Estonian Security Police spokesman Erik Heldna denied this.

AP reported that the attacker, who was born in 1954 but whose name is being withheld, entered the ministry in downtown Tallinn mid-afternoon local time. He threw a smoke bomb, fired several shots and then tried to move past two security guards in the lobby.

Heldna said in a news conference the gunman had no connection to either the Defense Ministry or the Estonian military and that his motive was unknown.

The man was known to police but had no criminal record.