54-year-old former Russian soldier dead after stand-off with New Zealand police

54-year-old former Russian soldier dead after stand-off with New Zealand police

New Zealand Police say a 54-year-old man is dead from stab wounds after an overnight standoff with police, following the discovery of guns at a property.

The former Russian soldier who reportedly feared going back to prison tried to call his son before dying of a suspected suicide following a three-hour standoff with police.

Troy Dubovskiy

The family of 54-year-old Troy Dubovskiy said he was being targeted by police after his property in the Christchurch suburb of St Martins was searched Tuesday.

In a statement, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said they acted on information from the public and a search warrant was issued at the St Martins address where police found a number of firearms.

Bush said police they found the firearms at the property and Dubovskiy, a welder and steel fabricator, was found in the Richmond Park area about 12.30am on Wednesday when his vehicle was stopped.

A police negotiation team spoke with 54-year-old Dubovskiy for over a number of hours, and a police helicopter was called in, as well as Armed Offender Squad members.

About 3.40am, police approached the vehicle and said Dubovskiy was critically injured with what looked to be a stab wound – a knife was found in the vehicle.

Members of the public said they heard gunshots, but police said that was the sound of gas canisters being deployed.

Mr. Bush said a high priority investigation is underway to find out whether or not this man posed a threat to the community.

Dubovskiy’s 16-year-old son said police searched his father’s, mother and grandparents homes, after someone reported a photo in which he first posted to Facebook several years ago, showing the teen holding a replica rifle and wearing a Russian helmet.

“I just thought I’d change up my profile picture and I found that photo and saved and uploaded it. I didn’t think much of it,” the teen said.

The 16-year-old was about to go to the gym on Tuesday when a friend messaged him to say there was police near his father’s home.

On arrival he said he saw a large number of armed police blocking off the road and a bridge. His father was still out working at the time.

After establishing his identity, police told the 16-year-old he was going to be arrested for possession of ammunition and a firearm in his room.

He said the firearm in his room was an 8 millimetre blank pistol. The other gun, found in his father’s room was an illegal, modified SKS semi-automatic, he said.

Also in the house was his father’s large collection of World War II German memorabilia, including uniforms, pouches and helmets.

He said his father had previously spent time in prison for assault and was worried about going back to prison for possessing an illegal firearm.

During the stand-off the 54-year-old tried calling his 16-year-old son once and ex-partner twice, however, police told them not to answer the phone. His ex-partner briefly spoke to him, and he said goodbye, his son said.

Dubovskiy also called another friend, 21-year-old Jonathan Hinds.

“He just called me brother and said goodbye,” Hinds said.

Hinds said Dubovskiy, who was a member of the Russian special forces, fighting in Afghanistan and Chechnya, told him he felt “naked” without a gun.

“He needed something to give him that security,” he said.

Dubovskiy’s son said his father was “fascinated” by World War II and the German military but was not a white supremacist.

“By no means is he a suspicious person or potentially threatening in any sort of way dangerous,” he said.

Police said further searches of properties and interviews with family and associates will be carried out.

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