GYUMRI, Armenia—A manhunt is underway in the Shirak region of Armenia for a Russian soldier who deserted his post and went on a rampage, killing six members of an Armenian family, among them a two-year-old girl. A six-month-old infant survived the attack but is in critical condition at a local hospital, news agencies reported Monday.
A spokesperson of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia Sona Truzyan identified the suspect as Valery Permyakov, who has reportedly deserted his post at the Russian military base.
“Military boots with the name and surname of the serviceman have been found at the site,” she added. An AK-74 rifle and 5.45 mm caliber shells have also been found.
Truzyan also identified the murder victims as Seryozha Avetisyan, Hasmik Avetisyan, Armen Avetisyan, Araksya Avetisyan, Aida Avetisyan, Hasmik Avetisyan (2-year-old girl), and Seryozha Avetisyan (6-month-old boy).
The Police have issued a statement calling on all those who have seen Valery Permyakov to call the number or visit the nearest police station. The Police said they are investigating the crime together with representatives from the military base.
All roads leading to Gyumri are blocked now and controlled by police as the suspect is believed to be armed.
Sarkisian Holds Urgent Consultation
President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday held urgent consultations with the heads of law enforcement bodies regarding the heinous murder.
Sarkisian stressed the importance of ascertaining the details of the case, detaining the guilty and holding them accountable.
The leadership of the Russian Military Base in Gyumri is cooperating with the Armenian law enforcement bodies and is providing practical support to the investigation of the case.
Sarkisian also offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims and said he shared the sorrow and pain of the family.
Russian Embassy Issues Statement
The Russian Embassy in Armenia issued a statement Monday about the murders, expressing shock and offering all resources in the ongoing investigation of the crime.
“We are shocked by this terrible crime. We mourn with the Armenian people. We offer our condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” said the statement. “The perpetrators of this vicious crime should be given the most severe punishment.”
“The relevant bodies of the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation are taking all necessary measures with a view of ensuring a fair and comprehensive investigation of the incident,” added the statement.
“The investigative groups are coordinating efforts in full compliance with the Agreement of the Presence of the 102nd Russian military base on the territory of the Republic of Armenia,” explained the statement.
On Monday, Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu, while Armenia’s Deputy Defense Minister David Tonoyan spoke to his Russian counterpart.
A special commission will arrive from Russia to investigate the incident, Spokesman of Armenia’s Defense Ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan said in a Facebook post.
Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan met with the Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin.
He stressed that the Russian military base in Gyumri was cooperating with the Armenian law-enforcement bodies and provides necessary assistance.
Residents of Gyumri held a spontaneous rally in the city’s central square, calling attention to the multiple murders.
Infant ‘Saved By Miracle’
Seryozha Avetisyan, who is only several months old, was operated on after being hospitalized in the wake of the violent act that left six in the family killed, Tert.am reported.
His condition is estimated as stable. The head of Gyumri’s Australian hospital, Ashot Kurghinyan, has told the state news agency Armenspress that the infant was hospitalized in a critical condition, with stab wounds in the chest.
“The infant was found on the mother’s dead body; the perpetrator probably thought he was dead, whereas he had been breathing. The child was hospitalized late; he was in a shock, cold and almost bloodless,” Kurgjinhyan said, adding that he finds the successful surgery a miracle.
“Yes, we can now say that the infant was saved by a miracle, but his condition continues to remain grave but stable. He is surviving a shock and is in the intensive care department switched to an artificial breathing aid. We are hopeful he will be strong enough to overcome it,” he added.
The infant was hospitalized without consciousness in the afternoon.
“I guess the infant was brought to us four or even five hours after the incident. He was in that condition for such a long time; there was a loss of blood and so on. Seeing that the infant’s vital organs are not essentially damaged, we can make positive forecasts, but it is too early to speak with guarantees today,” the doctor added.