Attempted murder victim flees Cyprus

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The victim of Monday’s murder attempt in broad daylight in a Nicosia suburb has left Cyprus without providing the police with a statement about the incident, according to media reports on Wednesday.

Unknown assailants opened fire on a vehicle carrying a 49-year-old and his two underage children on Monday, in a chilling incident reminiscent of recent gangland killings in Limassol and Nicosia.

A brazen murder attempt took place in broad daylight on Monday in Aglandjia, as attackers fired upon a vehicle with the 49-year-old and his two underage children.

The incident took place on the bustling Larnaca Avenue at 5.15 on Monday afternoon, exposing citizens to gunfire and eliciting concerns from both authorities and the community.

According to media reports, the assailant positioned in a nearby abandoned compound, fired two shots at the 49-year-old from a relatively close distance. The bullets struck his vehicle, but missing the intended target, accompanied by his 17-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter.

Police spokesperson Christos Andreou told state radio CyBC that the target of the attempt is known to authorities as he had been implicated in previous cases.

As reported by local media, the man had ties to Alexis Mavromichalis, who was murdered earlier last year.

On Tuesday, the 49-year-old was summoned again to the Nicosia CID to provide a written statement and be questioned about any suspicions regarding anyone wishing to harm him, but he refused to give a statement.

The fact that the assailant did not shoot at the victim when he was alone in the car, waiting instead for his two teenage children to return from a nearby kiosk, suggests that the attacker may not have been ready earlier.

This makes police officers believe that the assailant had been following the target with another vehicle.

Investigators, as told by Andreou, are concerned over the fact that attacker was seemingly oblivious to the presence of two underage children in the vehicle or the potential harm to bystanders.

“The assailant was apparently also not concerned about carrying the attack in the daytime, disregarding the fact that he could have been spotted,” added Andreou.

CCTV footage

The investigations are ongoing, and closed-circuit surveillance footage along the route taken by the victim are being sought to determine whether any suspicious movements of a vehicle or motorcycle closely following him have been recorded.

On Tuesday morning, new searches were conducted at the scene to ascertain the position of the assailant at the time of the gunfire. Two shell casings found have been sent to the Crime Investigation Service laboratories for forensic examination.

Meanwhile, at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, another shooting incident occurred in Nicosia. This time in the village of Geri, where shots were fired against the vehicle of a private security guard, stationed outside a businessman’s home.

Earlier last year, two gangland related murders, those of Thanasis Kalogeropoulos in Limassol and Alexis Mavromichalis in Nicosia, sent shockwaves throughout Cyprus society.

Kalogeropoulos, 55, was gunned down on October 30 in broad daylight on a busy beachside Limassol avenue, having been shot ten times.

Within 24 hours, Mavromichalis, 45, was assassinated on October 31 by a sniper while on the balcony of his Nicosia apartment.

The victims were not only known to each other, but had also played pivotal roles as witnesses in previous gangland murders.