An 83-year-old man undergoing medical treatment in a St. Petersburg hospital committed suicide using a pen that had been modified to function as a firearm, a news report said Monday.
Police told LifeNews that the patient, identified only as A. Kalashnikov, was found with a fatal gunshot wound to his temple. The pen was found next to the body.
The incident is being treated as a suicide, though a probe will be launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the man's death, LifeNews reported citing the press service for the St. Petersburg police.
"The main question is where the man got this weapon and how he managed to get it into the hospital room," the press service said.
The man had reportedly been receiving in-patient treatment for two weeks, though it was unclear what illness he was suffering from.
This marks at least the fourth time since the beginning of the year that an elderly patient undergoing medical treatment has committed suicide in Russia.
In February, terminally ill Rear Admiral Vyacheslav Apanasenko killed himself after his family was unable to get him painkillers. He condemned the country's health system in a suicide note, prompting a wave of criticism and spurring the government to take action in order to ease rules for seriously ill patients.
On June 8, a retired general shot himself in Moscow. Police later determined that he suffered from gangrene and doctors had been unable to help him manage the pain.