STEPANAKERT — Military investigators officially identified on Wednesday Manvel Hazroyan as the soldier who shot dead four fellow servicemen and wounded three others at a military base in Nagorno-Karabakh late last week.
Hazroyan, who also suffered serious gunshot wounds in the shooting, was formally charged under Article 104, part 2 (assassination of one or more persons), 34- 104 part 2, paragraph 1 (assassination attempt of one or more persons), Article 365, part 1 (violation of military service rules) with multiple murder and breach of combat duty rules on Tuesday.
According to military department spokeswoman Hazroyan admitted to the charges and pleaded guilty, he was remanded in pre-trial custody. She would not say whether the investigators have already determined the cause of the deadly incident.
According to media reports citing unnamed military sources, Hazroyan went on a shooting spree and then attempted to kill himself on Friday night after being badly ill-treated by the other soldiers.
The soldier’s family residing in a village in Armenia’s southern Armavir province dismissed this theory and suggested that the 19-year-old could not have willingly incriminated himself. His father, Armen Hazroyan, was allowed to visit him in a military hospital in Stepanakert on Tuesday. He said he was only able to talk to his son in the presence of military officials.
“Manvel could barely say a few words to me. How could he have made a confession in such a condition?” Armen Hazroyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
“My son couldn’t even slaughter chickens at home,” he said. “How could he shoot seven people? … He is no Rambo.”
“Maybe they are fabricating the case, maybe they coerced him,” said Hazroyan’s second son Grigor, who will be drafted into the army next month. “How can we know if they don’t let the parent talk to his son privately?” he said.
Citing Manvel’s government-appointed lawyer, the Hazroyans said he was hospitalized with multiple bullet wounds caused by a machine-gun. “How could anyone shoot himself in the stomach with a machine-gun?” argued Grigor. “A machine-gun is more than one meter long.”
According to the relatives, Manvel never complained to them of hazing or other serious problems throughout his year-long military service. His mother said that she spoke to him by phone three days before the killings and that he seemed to be in a good mood.

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