Lihula shooter Mikk Tarraste pleads guilty

Candles have been brought to the murder scene near Lihula. Urmas Lauri
Candles have been brought to the murder scene near Lihula. Urmas Lauri

In the trial that started on Monday in Pärnu County Court, Mikk Tarraste, who shot people in Lihula last summer and killed two of them, pleaded guilty.

Tarraste, 33, pleaded guilty and agreed to all civil actions against him. At the same time, he does not acknowledge the concealment of crimes and the escape from the crime scene. Tarraste added that he would stick to his earlier public regret and apology.

The Western District Prosecutor’s Office accuses Mikk Tarraste of murder committed in a generally dangerous manner and of illegal handling of ammunition.

Judge Rubo Kikerpill has set aside 14 days for the trial. According to Rünno Roosmaa, the defender of the Tartars, his defendant pleads guilty to the full extent of the accusation. The victims have brought civil actions against Tarraste in the amount of about 350,000 euros.

According to the accusation, on the evening of June 6, the alcoholic Tarraste was carrying firearms in his car in violation of the Weapons Act and caused a traffic accident at a gas station near Lihula. He then fled the scene and, in order to cover up the violations, shot down a motorcyclist and two cars with a total of nine people. The motorcyclist was killed, one of the cars was hit, but no one was injured there.

“He shot the motorcyclist and the cars after the motorcycle out of a desire to cover up the wrongdoing and return home unhindered,” said Prosecutor Gardi Anderson.

After that, the accused began to walk along the Tuudi-Raudtee road towards his home farm and repeatedly shot the Žiguli who had run into him on the way. The man behind the wheel of the car was injured, two children in the back seat were fatally injured. The woman sitting above the passenger died. The accused also continued to shoot at the ambulance that arrived at the scene, stopped at Žiguli and the relatives and police officers who came to it.

Then Tarraste walked almost four kilometers along the Tuudi-Raudtee road to the Tuudi railway station building. There he opened fire on police officers near the building and fired a police helmet with a shot.

“In this criminal case, it was very difficult to define the circle of victims. In human terms, only those who were physically hit by the bullets have not suffered. They could have hit anyone who was moving there. Survival would then have been a matter of chance. This is the general danger of the term intended in the accusation, ”the prosecutor explained.

According to the prosecutor’s office, killing two people, injuring four people and endangering an indefinite number of people was intentional. “Because of his training in both weapons and medicine, he was well aware of the consequences of shooting people,” said Prosecutor Gardi Anderson.

The accused was diagnosed with intoxication due to the use of alcohol and sedatives after his detention, but according to the prosecutor’s office, the intoxication did not prevent him from understanding the consequences of his actions.

The weapons used belonged to Tarras legally. During the criminal proceedings, however, illegal ammunition was found both in his summer home and residence in Tallinn, therefore the accusation has also been accused of illegal handling of ammunition.

Illegal handling of firearms or ammunition is punishable by a pecuniary punishment or up to 3 years’ imprisonment. Conviction for murder is punishable by eight to 20 years or life imprisonment.


Source: Lääne Elu by online.le.ee.

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