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Leonardas Zavistonovicius
"The events that struck Lithuania. And if you would pick off the Lithuanian Polish village?, Delfi.lt (June 28, 2011)

„Įvykiai, sukrete Lietuva“. O jei lietuvis būtų issaudęs lenku kaima ?, delfi.lt (June 28, 2011)

The Drauciai shooting was a shooting spree that occurred in Draučiai, a small village in the Sirvintos District Municipality, Lithuania on February 15, 1998, when 58-year-old Leonardas Zavistonovicius, a local, killed nine people and wounded another, before being beaten to death.

Contents

  • 1 Shooting
  • 2 Victims
  • 3 Aftermath
  • 4 References

Shooting

At approximately 4 p.m. on Sunday, Zavistonovicius armed himself with a Russian hunting rifle IZH-12 and a Czech carbine ZKK-601 with telescopic sight – both weapons were held legally with permit renewed less than a year prior to the incident.Within the next half-hour, he went to four houses where he killed nine of his neighbours and their relatives, all of them with single shots to the head or chest.Zavistonovicius first went to the most distant farm from his house. Its owner, Jonas Bareikas, was shot and killed in his bed. He also shot Bareikas' partner Maryte Rutkauskiene who at the time was making broom stalls. Afterwards, he approached Bareikas' neighbour Leonas Garbatavicius, whom he shot dead at the front door of his house. His next stop was at the Vrubliauskas farm, where he killed Vytautas Vrubliauskas and woundedhis mother Jadvyga and sister Zofija. Zofija Vrubliauskaite, who lived in Sirvintos and came to visit the family on the weekend, died the same night in Sirvintos hospital while undergoing surgery. Jadvyga Vrubliauskiene died a week later in Vilnius Red Cross Hospital.

The perpetrator then moved to Raudeliunas' home, which was closest to his own house. The next victims were Vanda Raudeliuniene and her visiting daughter Dalia Kalibatiene, who was a senior lieutenant with the Ministry of National Defence. The Kalibaitis family lived in Salininkai near Vilnius and were visiting the family. Zavistonovicius also killed a dog which attempted to defend the women. He fetched a mattress from his own house so he would not have to lay down on cold winter ground and took cover to ambush Antanas Raudeliunas his son-in-law Mindaugas Kalibatas and his grandsons Vilius and Tadas. The men were gathering wood in a nearby forest. They heard the shots but were not immediately concerned as they thought it was hunters who frequented the forests. When the four men came out of the woods Zavistonovicius first shot Mindaugas Kalibatas in the chest, but the bullet grazed, ripping a piece of flesh but not causing more serious internal damage. The perpetrator then shot Vilius as he ran to help his father. When the gunman approached them, Kalibatas and his other son Tadas attacked him, grabbed his rifles and beat him until he collapsed.

Since no one in the village had phones, Mindaugas Kalibatas drove himself and his son Vilius to hospital in Sirvintos located about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) away; however, Vilius died en route, The hospital alerted the police and sent ambulances to the village. Zofija Vrubliauskaite and Jadvyga Vrubliauskiene were found still alive. Zavistonovicius was taken in custody and died around 10 p.m. in hospital (cause of death: fracture in base of skull).

Only two inhabitants of the village were left alive, Antanas Raudeliunas and Zavistonovicius' mother Juzefa.

Victims

  • Jonas Bareikas,
  • Maryte Rutkauskiene, partner of Jonas Bareikas
  • Leonas Garbatavicius,
  • Dalia Kalibatiene, 48
  • Vilius Kalibatas, 17, son of Dalia Kalibatiene
  • Vanda Raudeliuniene, 66, mother of Dalia Kalibatien
  • Jadvyga Vrubliauskiene, 76
  • Vytautas Vrubliauskas, 38, son of Jadvyga Vrubliauskiene
  • Zofija Vrubliauskaite, 42, daughter of Jadvyga Vrubliauskiene

Aftermath

The Lithuanian government reacted at the highest levels as it was afraid that the shooting spree was politically motivated and might provoke further violence. It occurred on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Act of Independence of Lithuania. Zavistonovicius was a member of the Polish minority in Lithuania, which continues to have strained relationship with the Lithuanian government, while his victims were Lithuanian. Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius assembled a special commission to investigate the circumstances of the crime while press secretary of the Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas failed to convince the media to delay the news until Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski departed the celebrations in Vilnius. Minister of the Interior Vidmantas Ziemelis was sent to deliver government condolences in person. The government paid for the funerals of the victims. The funeral of Kalibatis family in Salininkai was attended by many dignitaries, including Minister of National Defence Ceslovas Stankevicius, members of the Seimas, and officers of the Lithuanian Army.The results of the investigation were that the shooting spree was caused by a mental illness (chronic delusions similar to schizophrenia), and not a political agenda. Zavistonovičius held a gun for hunting since 1975. The permits were periodically renewed. As part of the renewal process, Zavistonovicius had to pass an examination by a psychiatrist. None of the psychiatrists who examined Zavistonovicius noticed anything suspicious, a fact which caused much controversy. During the investigation it was uncovered that in 1985, Zavistonovicius had been referred to and examined by the Vilnius Psychiatric Hospital. Zavistonovicius was married three times. The third wife separated from him just ten months before the shooting and described his morbid jealousy and persecutory delusions, even though neighbors saw him as an intelligent and helpful man. Relatives had begun noticing various symptoms since 1978, which may have been related to a car crash in 1976. In light of these findings, the prosecutor's office explored a possibility of charging with negligence the seven doctors who signed off on Zavistonovicius gun permit. However, it was determined that the doctors were not negligent: without a centralized database, they could not know that Zavistonovicius was treated at a psychiatric hospital, and in public his symptoms were masked and controlled well enough to pass the brief examination without suspicion.

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