A polish military prosecutor shot himself in the head today while news cameras were rolling. Col. Mikolaj Przybyl made a statement defending a military investigation into the plane crash that killed the Polish president in 2010, then calmly told reporters, “I want to ask you to leave for a minute. I need a break.”
The journalists left the room and closed the door, but the cameras were still taping, and recorded the sound of a gun being cocked, then fired. Przybyl was just out of frame when he apparently pulled the trigger. His feet can be seen on the floor after the gunshot.
Journalists heard the gunshot and rushed back into the prosecutor’s office where they found him lying face down on the floor, bleeding. One journalist is heard saying, “Don’t record it, but help.” Another responds, “How do you want us to help?”
Paramedics took Przybyl to a hospital in western Poland where he’s said to be in stable condition and conscious. Hospital director Leslaw Lenartiowicz said Pryzybyl has injuries to his face, but they are not life threatening.
Przybyl is the head of a military prosecutors department investigating organized crime in the army. Media reports have accused his department of breaking the law while investigating the 2010 crash of the presidential plane in Russia by spying on reporters to find the source of media leaks.
Przybyl called the news conference today to refute the claims. Before shooting himself, he told reporters, “I have never discredited the Republic of Poland and with all firmness I will defend the honor of a Polish army officer and prosecutor.”
The shooting shocked Poland’s politicians and lawmakers. Some are calling for a special investigation, saying Przybyl’s statement and attempted suicide suggest massive corruption in the Polish Army.
Poland Attorney General Andrezej Seremet promised a thorough investigation, saying, “I am absolutely amazed by what has happened…The police are at the scene and all the necessary procedures are being carried out.”