Murder suspect used GPD gun to shoot himself - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Murder suspect used GPD gun to shoot himself

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On Monday night we reported a developing item that broke during our KUAM News Primetime newscast that the Guam Police were making an arrest for a murder down in Agat.  But what was expected to be a rather routine procedure of taking a suspect into custody at the downtown jail quickly escalated into an apparent suicide scene of a violent shooting and absolute chaos that followed, at a venue whose security is supposed to be air-tight.

And throughout the night, Guamanians from all over the planet wanted to know the same two things: how did the suspect get a gun, and who did it belong to?

A joint investigation with members of Guam Police Departments Special Investigations Section and Naval Criminal Investigative Services is ongoing and earlier this afternoon, they released these preliminary findings.

It appears the shooting that occurred at Hagatna Precinct on Monday night unraveled as a hostage situation.

"Not to my knowledge have we experienced anything like this in my time being a police officer that I know of," admitted Officer A.J. Balajadia, the agency's spokesman. 35-year-old Dumitru Lobanov was arrested for the murder of his wife, 54-year-old Irena Vaag, who died from a single gunshot wound to the face. She was killed earlier this month in their Agat home.

Only minutes after he was brought in for processing at the Hagatna Precinct, pandemonium broke out.

"The suspect that was being processed it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound and how that happened what led up to that will be part of the investigation," Officer Balajadia stated. He continued to say that a police detective and a detention officer were preparing to book Lobonav in the Processing Room. As the detention officer led Lobonav to the fingerprint machine, he grabbed the gun from her holster and aimed it towards the detective in the room.

The detective then drew his weapon and ordered Lobonav to put the gun down, but Lobonav grabbed the detention officer and held her to him, before turning the gun on himself.

During a media briefing Monday night, Balajadia explained protocol for holsters and processing. "The type of holster that we utilize is a double-locking mechanism. It makes it very difficult to be able to pull a weapon from a police officer. If you were able to get a weapon from an officer, you would need to know what you were doing," he detailed.

He also said, "Sometimes we have individuals who we brought in here that are irate and combative and you'd want that extra coverage for police officers and you have some that are very calm and are very compliant there's no need to have the whole precinct in there. No one really knows the mindset of an individual that's being brought in, but certainly that certainly will be something that we will look at as part of this investigation."

As we reported Monday night, Lobonav died on the scene. According to the island's chief medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola, he died from a single gunshot wound to the right temple.

Joint Region Marianas public affairs officer Lieutenant Tim Gorman says Lobanov was a petty officer first class assigned to the USS Frank Cable as a logistics specialist. Lobanov joined the military in July 1999 and reported to the Frank Cable on June 1, 2014. Lt. Gorman adds that according to his service record, he earned two conduct medals since he joined the Navy and that it doesn't appear that he had any disciplinary problems. Gorman says the Navy is saddened to hear about the loss of one of their sailors and his wife. He asks that their friends and family are given privacy during this time.
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