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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

4 Dead After 'Knock on Wrong Door'

City Crime Statistics
 April 17-23 
Theft (total)892336
Apartment burglaries1534
Car theft2712
 For the Record 
Car accidents201
a) killed13
b) injured225
Public drunkenness4,523
Detained overnight350
Missing persons43
Bodies discovered83
Source: Moscow police

Four people were shot to death by an unidentified assailant in a quadruple homicide that prosecutors believe may have been a contract hit gone awry.

The four bodies were discovered at around noon Monday in the stairwell of an apartment building in Balashikha, 25 kilometers east of Moscow, Yelena Rossokhina, spokeswoman for the Moscow regional prosecutor's office, said Tuesday.

Among the victims was a 70-year-old woman, Rossokhina said.

Prosecutors identified the victims as Lidia Vasilyeva, Nina Kuznetsova, Valida Khalilova and Sergei Gashko.

Rossokhina declined to provide further details about the slaying, citing the ongoing investigation. But she said investigators believed the killer may have been sent to carry out a contract hit and "simply knocked on the wrong door."

Kuznetsova, 49, a hotel administrator, was the first to be shot after she opened the door for the killer, who was wearing a balaclava, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported Tuesday. The paper said the killer shot Kuznetsova several times in the head with a pistol equipped with a silencer.

The killer then walked down the stairs from Kuznetsova's second-floor apartment and shot Khalilova, 30, who was waiting for the elevator with bags of groceries in her hands, the report said.

Gorshkov then entered the stairwell, also with groceries, and was shot in the neck by the killer.

Vasilyeva, 70, became the final victim when she was shot and killed after leaving her apartment to take out the trash, the newspaper reported.

Rossokhina declined to comment on the report.

But a law enforcement source told Komsomolskaya Pravda that Kuznetsova may have been the target of a contract hit, while the other victims were probably killed as potential witnesses.