Kristine L Ming

Justice Ministry: Fugitive Gavrielov killed himself, was not shot by waiting police

A fugitive gunman took his own life and was not killed by police, as had been previously reported, the Justice Ministry said Monday, after receiving findings from the autopsy.

Yan Gavrielov, suspected of murdering his ex-girlfriend and a companion of hers in her Rishon Lezion apartment last Wednesday, was spotted by police in Lod on Saturday evening, and ruled dead at the scene of a gunshot wound not long after.

Police reported that officers opened fire, killing Gavrielov, with the fatal shot attributed by several outlets to district commander Asst.-Ch. Kobi Cohen.

On Monday, the Justice Ministry’s department for investigating police stated that after reviewing the autopsy findings “We have reached the conclusion that the bullet that struck Yan Gavrielov in the head and caused his death was fired from the deceased’s gun, and not from a police firearm.”

They added that the finding supports the assessment that he decided to take his own life once he saw that police had spotted him.”

Police have been the subject of criticism in the media since Saturday, due to a gag order that they secured on the case which prevented publishing Gavrielov’s name and photograph, even though he was at the time an armed fugitive wanted in connection to a double murder.

National Police Spokeswoman Meirav Lapidot said this week that Gavrielov wasn’t a threat to the general public, and that police also feared that if his identity was made public, it could force him to become erratic and a threat to the public.

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