By Ruzanna Khachatrian
A 53-year-old businessman was gunned down in downtown Yerevan in broad daylight and under uncertain circumstances on Saturday.
The man, identified by police as Ashot Vartanian, was fatally shot in the head by unknown assailants. His body lay next to his car early in the afternoon, surrounded law-enforcement officers and forensic experts searching for clues.
The presence of the chief of the Yerevan police department, Nerses Nazarian, among them testified to the extraordinary character of the crime. “Investigators and forensic experts are already working to solve the murder,” Nazarian told RFE/RL at the scene, refusing to speculate about its possible motives.
Vahe Hovannisian, a prosecutor leading the criminal investigation, was also reticent. “I can’t give any details for the moment in the interests of the investigation,” he told reporters. “Nor can I come up with any theories right now.”
Nobody was reportedly arrested or questioned over the weekend in connection with the crime committed on one of the city center’s bustling avenues. Its perpetrators were clearly undaunted by the fact that it is rarely deserted in daytime.
Vartanian was later identified as the owner of a small pastry company based in the city’s southern Shengavit district.