Man kills 8 relatives with AK-47 – then sends message to country’s PM

(SKY NEWS) – An Albanian shepherd who killed eight relatives with an AK-47 before challenging the country’s prime minister to find him has been arrested.

Ridvan Zykaj, 24, confessed to shooting cousins and other family members with a Kalashnikov after the 12-hour police hunt on Saturday.

While on the run, the fugitive challenged Prime Minister Edi Rama on Facebook to find him.

Zykaj killed his relatives in the southern coastal area of Vlore because they accused him of being a thief, police said.

Local media reported that the killing spree was triggered by a family lunch, where one of the victims accused Zykaj of stealing their turkeys.

He killed his great-uncle, the great-uncle’s wife and two sons, and other members of their extended family.

Zykaj was arrested 12 hours after the police hunt began. Pic: Albanian State Police

All of the victims are believed to be members of two Zykaj families living in the same village of Resulaj.

Women and children were among the dead, including a nine-year-old child, a teenage girl and three women, it was also reported.

Zykaj is said to have killed eight and injured six in the shootings before fleeing the village 62 miles south of the Albania capital, Tirana.

He is said to have appeared unrepentant and even told police they were late in arresting him.

Police have found the Kalashnikov – a gas-operated assault rifle developed in the Soviet Union – he allegedly used to kill his relatives.

As a shepherd, Zykaj knew the area in southern Albania well, complicating his capture.

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