Greek gunman takes life after shootout with police in downtown Athens (video-photos)

One officer injured in fire exchange

Theofilos Lazarakis, 38, committed suicide in downtown Athens, after injuring a police officer in a shootout with Greek police before taking his life, Saturday. The incident occurred when police of the DIAS motorcycle unit pursued the guman in central Athens, after he had refused to undergo a routine check. The man initially opened fire against the police officers, injuring one in the shoulder, and managed to escape. A few minutes later tens of eyewitnesses saw the assailant shoot himself in the head opposite the Varvakios market. Lazarakis was a fugitive from Chalkida prison, after failing to return to jail from a leave he had taken on December 6 from prison authorities. He was serving a life sentence for the murder of a woman in 2004 during an armed robbery. The wounded police officer was taken to the 401 military hospital where he is being treated for his shoulder injury. The man’s motives are unclear.