A man in the Urals city of Orsk was gunned down by police after he set his 9-year-old daughter on fire, and then strangled her in an apparent bid to expedite her death, the regional branch of Russia's Investigative Committee reported Monday.
The macabre incident occurred on Sunday night, after the 30-year-old man got into a heated argument with his ex-wife. The man threatened to commit suicide and kill the couple's 9-year-old daughter, barricading himself and the child in the attic of their house in Orsk, a city some 1,750 kilometers southeast of Moscow. The man doused himself, his daughter and the attic with gasoline before setting the premises on fire, investigators said in a statement.
The man attempted to escape the blaze by crawling through a broken window, but as he began to hoist himself out, he saw police officers approaching. He reached back into the burning room, grabbed his young daughter, who was burnt but still alive, and strangled her.
A police officer ordered the man to release the child, threatening to draw his weapon. When the man refused to obey, the officer fatally shot him.
The child was transported to a nearby hospital to be treated for burn wounds of varying severity. She succumbed to her injuries on Monday, investigators said.
Investigators have launched a criminal case into the child's death and are assessing the circumstances surrounding the incident. Materials recovered at the man's home suggest he might have been a drug user, the investigators' statement said.
The man had been charged earlier this month with making a death threat against his ex-wife, according to investigators. The couple had ended their 10-year marriage in January.