Police in Russia’s Vologda Region have recaptured a convicted murderer who escaped prison on board a helicopter earlier in the day, Interior Ministry spokesman Valery Gribakin said on Thursday.
The escapee, identified as Alexei Shestakov by local police, was slightly injured when he refused to surrender after being cornered by police, Gribakin said. There were no injuries among the police, he said.
The helicopter was rented by one of the prisoner's associates on the outside, Gribakin said. “It has been established, that in March the convict called this person and asked him to organize a top delegation helicopter visit. He did not understand exactly what was meant, but went ahead and rented the helicopter,” Gribakin said.
“At the scheduled time today the helicopter's crew landed it at the designated place, taking on board a man and a woman. After the aircraft took off, they drew guns and forced the pilot to hover above the penal colony and throw out a rope. The convict used the rope to climb onboard.”
Volgograd Region Prosecutor General’s Office said will check how local carriers implement flight safety regulations.
Shestakov had served half of his 24-year term for murder at the high-security penal colony in the town of Sheksna, made it aboard the helicopter, even though prison guards began firing at the aircraft, a penitentiary service official told RIA Novosti.
The Mil Mi-2 (Hoplite) helicopter was later found in the regional capital of Vologda, the penitentiary service official said. It is registered to a local firm, according to preliminary information.
The man and woman who hijacked the helicopter remain at large, Gribakin said.