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Who is the Belarusian who shot in Gdynia?

On November 15 Polish media reported a strange incident: a shooting occurred in one of the offices of Gdynia, after which a Belarusian was detained. Who is this person? And what really happened?

Polish media reported shooting at the Thomson Reuters office in Gdynia. The police detained a 30-year-old Belarusian.

The man's name is Stepan Svidersky, he is from Grodno, where in 2006 he was an activist in non-governmental youth organizations. Because of this, he was expelled from the Faculty of History of the BSU. Stepan went to study in Poland under the Kalinovsky program, where he stayed to work and live.

According to Radio Gdańsk, Stepan worked at the Thomson Reuters office for several recent years in the second shift from 16 pm. On the day of shooting he suddenly came to work with a long-barreled gun and a pistol. The frightened staff fell to the floor. One of the men began to disarm Stepan, two shots were heard, but no one was hurt. Someone called the police.

The media contacted the shooting club in Gdansk, which Stepan visited for several years. Here is what Piotr Krajinski says:

“I've known Stepan for a long time. He is a very good person. He is a member of our club, we all love him very much. Stepan is very keen on shooting sport: he visited us very often, helped in the organization, and participated in competitions. Yesterday he was at the shooting club, from where he went to work.

He left the club at about 15:00, which is recorded in the registration book. In the club we use sporting weapons, a whole range of weapons from small arms to Kalashnikovs and long-range rifles of large calibers.

Stepan had weapons officially, he passed all the exams and got permission. The rules for storing weapons in Poland allow a person to carry weapons with an adjoining equipped magazine. Yesterday I saw a gun in a special green case on the shoulder of Stepan.”

Piotr adds: “Before obtaining a permit to own weapons, a person must undergo a psychiatric examination and attach the results to the package of documents in the application. I do not believe that Stepan could shoot or do something bad. Perhaps some staff was frightened and called the police, which made the shots.”

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Stepan learned to shoot since childhood, says his former girlfriend. She had not seen Stepan for a long time, but several years ago communicated with him very closely.

“I know that as a boy he went to a shooting club, and he liked it very much. He is very fond of shooting and has great success in this. He used to tell me that shooting is like meditation for him: he can concentrate doing this.”

"He definitely would not have thought of shooting people. I also know from common acquaintances that yesterday Stepan did not manage to bring the weapon home from the training, so he went to his office and decided to show it to a colleague. Someone decided to be a hero and disarm Stepan,” she reasons.

Glock (this is a pistol that Stepan had, according to unofficial information) is a combat gun. The safety is simple: if someone wants to get hold of a weapon, two warning shots are fired in the air.

Now his Gdansk friends from Belarus are hiring a lawyer. Under Polish law, a person can be detained without charges for up to 48 hours. So they decided to use the services of a lawyer, so that charges are not brought, says a friend of Stepan.

MORE: Belarusian may face life sentence for shooting in Poland's Reuters office

Who is the Belarusian who shot in Gdynia?