The second Armenian police officer shot dead in a standoff between security forces and anti-government gunmen was buried in Yerevan on Monday.
Warrant Officer Yuri Tepanosian’s funeral was attended by his colleagues and superiors.
The police say the 30-year-old father of three was killed on Saturday by sniper from a police compound in the city’s Erebuni district which was seized by the gunmen on July 17. They say Tepanosian sat in a police car parked about 400 meters from the sprawling compound.
Varuzhan Avetisian, the leader of the gunmen who surrendered to law-enforcement authorities late on Sunday, insisted shortly before the surrender that Tepanosian was not gunned down by the armed group. Avetisian claimed that the officer’s car was not visible from the compound.
The police responded by releasing photographs meant to prove that the gunmen were able to see and shoot at Tepanosian’s car.
On Monday, the police spokesman, Ashot Aharonian, also publicized a short video purportedly showing a gunman with a sniper rifle taking a position on the roof of a police building inside the compound.
“Yuri Tepanosian died as a real policeman, while protecting the lives and security of his fellow citizens at the expense of his life,” Aharonian wrote on Facebook earlier.
The gunmen demanding President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation killed another officer, Colonel Artur Vanoyan, when they captured the police facility on July 17. Four other policemen were wounded in in the pre-dawn attack.
Avetisian and other gunmen blamed the police for Vanoyan’s death. They claimed that they fought back in “self-defense” when security forces attempted to retake the compound.
Police officials insist, however, that Vanoyan and his injured colleagues were on duty inside their Erebuni base when it was stormed by the armed members of a radical opposition movement.