POLICE are investigating a murder case in Limassol after a motorcycle gunman was run down and killed in a late-night collision with a car driven by a man at whose house the victim had fired shots moments earlier.
The driver of the vehicle, who was later remanded for eight days, denies he deliberately drove his vehicle into 40-year-old Andreas Stylianou, aka Americanos, in order to kill him.
“Police were informed at around 11.45pm (Wednesday night) that in Tinou street there was an injured person, and that shots had been fired,” police spokesman Andreas Angelides said.
Members of the force rushed to the scene in the Apostolou Andrea Haraki area where they found Stylianou’s dead body lying in the street next to his high powered, large capacity motorcycle. A handgun and five cartridges were also found in the road.
“There appears to have been a collision between two vehicles, the motorcycle the victim was riding and a car being driven by the suspect, who was arrested. The scene was closed off immediately. We are investigating a case of premeditated murder,” Angelides said
The investigating officer told the court that the suspect told police that the victim, who was a friend, had called him on Wednesday night, threatening him and his family, as he held him responsible for a search carried out by the drug squad on his car two days earlier, which had found drugs.
The 30-year-old said he heard the sound of a gun being loaded as he received the threats, so he subsequently left his house, got in the car and began patrolling the area.
Americanos, he said, then turned up on his motorcycle, stopped in front of the suspect’s home and fired shots at it with his pistol.
The findings of a traffic police report, the investigating officer told the court, point to the car having collided with the motorcycle and dragged some ten metres, further noting that the nature of the road, the path of the two vehicles and the speed which with they were travelling did not justify the severity of the collision. Therefore, police did not rule out the possibility of intentional action by the driver.
State pathologist Nicholas Charalambous, who carried out investigations at the scene, said the victim bore wounds to the head.
“It seems he was struck by the vehicle involved in the incident.”
An autopsy due to be performed on the corpse later Thursday is expected to shed light on the exact cause of death.
Both men had in the past attracted police attention in drugs-related cases and the possible involvement of other people was not ruled out.