A 43-year-old Tajik man grabbed a gun, shot dead two security officers and wounded a civilian at Moldova’s main international airport on Friday after being denied entry, authorities said.
He was himself injured and apprehended, police said, in an incident that briefly grounded flights at Chisinau International Airport.
One witness, Olena Shevelyova, said she heard four or five bullets. “We heard some guns shooting and we were asked to go in some buildings here … to hide behind the buildings,” she told Reuters by phone.
Prime Minister Dorin Recean said the shooter seized a weapon from a border police official as he was being escorted away.
Two two killed were a border guard and an airport security officer, President Maia Sandu said, offering condolences.
Moldova, which gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, has a population of 2.6 million and is pushing to join the European Union.
Shevelyova, 48, a Ukrainian executive who had been waiting to board a flight to Milan, said she heard ambulances coming near the airport. “It was unclear if there was a bomb or something had happened. It was only after we went far away from the airport that we were told there is someone who is shooting.”
Moldova is often used for flights by neighbouring Ukrainians since Russia’s invasion of their homeland.