Saturday, March 24, 2012
A wealthy Russian banker is under armed guard in hospital today after being gunned down in a suspected assassination attempt in London.
German Gorbuntsov is in a coma after he was shot several times as he entered his multimillion-pound executive apartment near Canary Wharf, east London.
Scotland Yard said it was “too early to speculate” on Russian reports that the attack could be a gangland hit linked to a murder attempt on another banker, Alexander Antonov, in Moscow.
The force’s Trident command - which investigates gang shootings - is understood to have liaised with overseas counterparts in the hunt for the gunman behind the attack on Tuesday evening.
Police said the suspect, who is white, 6ft and slim, and was wearing dark clothes, was seen running away from Westferry Road after Mr Gorbuntsov was shot.
The man who attempted to murder Mr Gorbuntsov “was known” to his victim, according to his neighbour.
The 54-year-old management consultant was at home when the shooting took place.
He said: “I arrived home at 6.30pm and went upstairs, and around 9pm that night the police knocked on the door and mentioned there had been an incident, and that someone was critically injured and taken to hospital.
“They mentioned that the attacker was known to the person who’d been attacked.
“The morning after, I came down to go to work just before 7am and the glass here in the door was all smashed in.
“When the police mentioned the incident they hadn’t said it was physically in the foyer,” added the man, who gave his name only as John.
Tony Smith, 26, an estate agent, said he had been trying to drive down Byng Street moments after the shooting.
He said: “I pulled my car up and looked down and saw his body, saw him. Police were surrounding him but there were only two police cars, and the rest came later.
“The window was shot out on the door. I looked at him, I thought he had been stabbed at first. I didn’t expect this to happen in this block.”
Detectives said the shooting was not thought to be locally gang-related but a spokesman added: “This is sitting with Trident which investigates gang-related shootings. There is no reason it should rest with anyone else.”