Suspect in Karabakh Army Shooting Named; Family Claims Framed

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Military investigators officially identified on Wednesday an Armenian soldier who they say shot dead four fellow servicemen and wounded three others at a military base in Nagorno-Karabakh late last week.

The Armenian Defense Ministry’s Investigative Department said Manvel Hazroyan, who also suffered serious gunshot wounds in the shooting, was formally charged with multiple murder and breach of combat duty rules on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the department told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that Hazroyan admitted to the charges and was remanded in pre-trial custody. She would not say whether the investigators have already determined the cause of the deadly incident.

According to media reports citing unnamed military sources, Hazroyan went on a shooting spree and then attempted to kill himself on Friday night after being badly ill-treated by the other soldiers.

The Karabakh Armenian army was already hit by a similar deadly shooting four months ago. It left one officer and five soldiers dead. Military investigators said one of those servicemen gunned down the others before taking his own life.

Several Karabakh Armenian officers were dismissed and demoted following that incident. No such punitive actions have been announced yet in connection with the latest shooting.

The soldier’s family residing in a village in Armenia’s southern Armavir province dismissed this theory and suggested that the 19-year-old could not have willingly incriminated himself. His father, Armen Hazroyan, was allowed to visit him in a military hospital in Stepanakert on Tuesday. He said he was only able to talk to his son in the presence of military officials.

“Manvel could barely say a few words to me. How could he have made a confession in such a condition?” Armen Hazroyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

“My son couldn’t even slaughter chickens at home,” he said. “How could he shoot seven people? … He is no Rambo.”

“Maybe they are fabricating the case, maybe they coerced him,” said Hazroyan’s second son Grigor, who will be drafted into the army next month. “How can we know if they don’t let the parent talk to his son privately?” he said.

Citing Manvel’s government-appointed lawyer, the Hazroyans said he was hospitalized with multiple bullet wounds caused by a machine-gun. “How could anyone shoot himself in the stomach with a machine-gun?” argued Grigor. “A machine-gun is more than one meter long.”

According to the relatives, Manvel never complained to them of hazing or other serious problems throughout his year-long military service. His mother said that she spoke to him by phone three days before the killings and that he seemed to be in a good mood.

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3 Comments

  1. ed said:

    what a shame.. What a shame! Waht a shame ! All of sudden this military unit has no commander and there e is no defence minister at all and o on !

    We have to be proud of all THESE Armenian families , who send there 18 or 19 old on time to army!!!

    Sorry, maybe, maybe, maybe this young solder is guilty, maybe all of these 18 or 19 year old solders- better to say old children- are guilty ! But don’t your se ethe patriotic duty of ARMENIAN families that they do send there 18 or 19 year old son to army? ???? This is NOT normal!!). Shame on these authorise in Arstakh and Armenia. Shame on al these feet generals and parliamentarians! !!!

    The first step should be to suspend the commander of the troop from duty and even would be OK. To fire of defence mister of Artsakh, if needed …. and I wished defence mister of RoA had to cut his visit in Lisbon or Turkyfied Hungry and had returned home .. The same corrupt NATO did nothing and NOTHING as Turk-Azerbaijani was killing Armenian civilians in different parts of Karabakh in 80´s and 90´ and Azerbaijani Republic … The Same Hungry or Poland or NATO will do nothing and nothing if criminal authorizes in Baku do dear to tart one another aggression against Arstahk! What could we accept form this NATO? What could we except from already bankrupt US? , what could we expect from German-Turkish confederation (old Love is lasting!!!) ) ,or from an traditionally anti Armenian England (not GB!) Or from an corrupt France?? Better to start to create a better condition in army for our 18 or 19 solders for our lovely sons and daughters, we own to there parents a lot ! !

  2. maggar said:

    the azerbaijan’s are growing in numbers in the military and in pregnancies while us armenians are not growing furthermore the armenians leaving armenia plus the armenians do not have a good reputation anymore is there any good news about the armenians these days?

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