An Armenian police officer was shot and seriously wounded on Tuesday while allegedly attempting to rob a commercial bank in Yerevan which he was supposed to protect.
Captain Artur Hakobian was kept at the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital under police guard several hours after the shooting incident. It occurred at the Converse Bank branch in the city’s Nor Nork district.
The bank offices there were cordoned off by the police early in the afternoon. There were traces of bullets on its main entrance door.
“There was a robbery attempt,” a police lieutenant-colonel told RFE/RL’s Armenian service at the scene. “The head of my desk tried to rob an entity protected by him.”
The officer, who declined to identify himself, said Hakobian is the head of a Nor Nork police division tasked with providing armed protection to public and private institutions. He said the 33-year-old captain was shot in the leg and stomach by Sergeant Mikael Hovsepian, one of his subordinates who was on duty at the bank.
Another police source told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that Hakobian burst into the bank in plain clothes and had his head covered by a hood.
Hakobian was rushed to the Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center and underwent urgent surgery that lasted for several hours. A hospital surgeon described his condition as satisfactory later in the day.
The shooting incident is a further embarrassment for the Armenian police reeling from last week’s arrest of Hovannes Tamamian, a police general accused of deliberately mishandling a murder investigation. Tamamian was taken into custody just days after President Serzh Sarkisian publicly decried the alleged cover-up.