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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Boyfriend Accused of Killing to Save Face

A St. Petersburg resident has been arrested in Moscow and charged with murder for shooting dead a road construction worker in order to save face in front of his girlfriend, authorities said.

Police arrested Artyom Turitsa, 26, on Oct. 24 on Gorkovskoye Shosse, just east of Moscow, one month after he purportedly killed a construction worker and injured another on Ryabinovaya Ulista, near the Kuntsevskaya metro station in western Moscow, police spokeswoman Yulia Makartseva said.

Turitsa began arguing with the two workers, a Georgian citizen and an Armenian citizen, who were pouring cement on the evening of Sept. 22 after one of the tires on his Mercedes was damaged by a piece of equipment at the construction site, Makartseva said.

After exchanging words, Turitsa fired several shots at the workers, striking one who died at the scene and injuring the other in the thigh, Makartseva said.

She declined to identify the victims, but Izvestia reported that Yago Samanashvili, 26, was killed in the attack, while Srab Kachoyan, 40, was hospitalized.

Turitsa fled the scene, and police had difficulty tracking him down because he had temporary license plates, Makartseva said.

A massive manhunt, however, resulted in his arrest last week.

Turitsa has told police that he didn't want to kill anyone and that he just meant to fire some shots at the workers' legs, a law enforcement source said, Interfax reported.

Turitsa told police that the argument happened in front of his girlfriend and that he "simply didn't want to ruin his reputation in his girlfriend's eyes," the source said.

"He claimed the workers had insulted him and spoken in a crude fashion," Makartseva said. "But that's no reason to shoot someone. People need to know that they can't just resort to brute force in cases like this."

Both Makartseva and city Investigative Committee spokesman Mikhail Ionkin declined to elaborate on the details of the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

Turitsa has been charged with murder and could face up to life in prison if convicted, Ionkin said.

The deadly incident was not the first case of road rage this month. On Oct. 8, a driver near the Kitai-Gorod metro station in central Moscow ended an argument with three pedestrians by shooting them with an air pistol and trying to flee, police said.

The pedestrians were injured, but not critically. The driver was arrested by a police officer in the vicinity, police said.