BELGOROD, August 23 (RAPSI) – On Friday, Russia’s Belgorod Regional Court found Sergei Pomazun, the infamous – Belgorod shooter – guilty of six counts of murder and sentenced him to life in prison.

Pomazun has also been ordered to pay three million rubles (approximately $91,000) in compensation to the relatives of one of the victims whose life was lost during the shootout. The initial claim sought 50 million rubles, but the court opted for a significantly lower sum.

This was the only claim filed for personal damages in the aftermath of the shooting. The other victims and survivors opted not to seek compensation from Pomazun.

On April 22, Pomazun opened fire in a weapons store killing three people, and then shot another three people on the street outside. Five people died on the scene, including a 14-year-old girl. Another victim, a 16-year-old girl, died later in intensive care.

On April 23, Pomazun was detained when he attempted to flee the city on a freight train. He was identified and detained by transport police. The suspect resisted arrest, wounding one of the police officers in the process.

A psychiatric evaluation found the shooter sane, but his lawyer has argued that the results were debatable, having overlooked numerous nervous breakdowns.

Defense attorney Sergei Yeremeyev has pointed to Pomazun’s own testimony in calling for a new psychiatric evaluation. Among other things, the defendant has claimed to have participated in the North Caucasus counter-terrorism campaign. Numerous witnesses later refuted said testimony under cross-examination.

The lawyer also reported that relatives of the accused noticed instances of strange behavior from him. "I think Pomazun is warping his own perception of reality. He is drawn into some kind of world where he knows how to operate weapons and navigate the landscape like a soldier, following his own plan," - Yeremeyev said, noting that such behavior is not unlike that observed in schizophrenic disorders.

"In our case he dreamed up some kind of a special operation, with an intent to procure weapons, which ultimately resulted in murder. He claims his alleged involvement in the Chechen War was the reason" - Yeremeyev said.

In July, Pomazun was removed from his own trial for disorderly conduct. The judge reprimanded Pomazun for screaming profanities during the court’s first session. Then later, he aggravated the court again: when the judge decided to remove the shooter from the room as an under-aged girl prepared to take the witness stand, the defendant responded with more shouting, profanities and threats of violence to the judge
Prosecutors sought a life prison term, while Pomazun has requested a maximum sentence of 25 years.