Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was speaking at a photo exhibition event in a posh art gallery in the capital Ankara when he was shot by a Turkish off-duty policeman.
Turkish station NTV reported that police later killed the assailant.
Ankara’s Mayor Melih Gokcek said that the assailant was a 22-year-old off-duty police officer who worked in Turkey’s capital.
The state-run Anadolu agency said the attacker’s mother, father, sister, two other relatives and his flat-mate in Ankara were detained.
NTV television said at least three people were wounded and were taken to the hospital in a gunfight that later ensued after Karlov was shot.
Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone about the attack. Meanwhile, Mayor Gokcek suspects that the “heinous” attack was aimed at disrupting newly re-established relations between Turkey and Russia.
After the assailant shot the ambassador in the back, he referenced the situation in Aleppo.
“Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria,” the attacker said in Turkish after gunning down the ambassador, as seen on a video shared by Turkish media from the scene.
Andrey Karlov served as the ambassador to Turkey since 2013.