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Russian Court Sentences Church Shooter to 24 Years in Prison

Stepan Komarov

A court in Russia's Far East handed down a 24-year prison sentence to a man who opened fire in an Orthodox Church on Sakhalin Island, killing two people and injuring seven others, a news report said Tuesday.

The court ruled that Stepan Komarov, nicknamed the "Sakhalin shooter" by Russian media, was driven by "religious hatred" when he last year attacked the Cathedral of the Resurrection in the town of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the Interfax news agency reported.

Komarov disclosed no motives for the shooting at the time of his arrest, Interfax cited an Investigative Committee spokeswoman as saying. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation subsequently concluded that Komarov did not suffer from any psychiatric disorders, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing prosecutors.

While the prosecution had demanded a sentence a life sentence for Komarov, defense lawyer Yevgeny Yefimchuk declined to say whether he was planning to appeal the 24-year sentence handed down to his client, the report said.

Komarov, who was working as a private security guard at the time of the shooting, had been given his rifle as a duty weapon to accompany a cash-in-transit car, Moskovsky Komsomolets reported last year.

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