Police colonel Andrey Gosht, 49, his wife Svetlana, 51, his 27 year old niece Svetlana Kurilas and his sister, Elena Gosht, 42 were all bludgeoned to death in a sickening contract killing.
Another niece, Sofia, 7, is seriously wounded in the head and abdomen, and is in a coma after being flown by emergency helicopter to hospital. The bloody scene was discovered by the colonel’s brother, Evgeny, 44 after returning to his parents’ home in Ivashevka village, Samara region.
There are fears the police chief and his family were targeted in revenge for cracking down on a local criminal gang, although there are other theories for the hideous mass killing.
All the victims were killed with baseball bats, hammers and metal rods.
Evidence at the scene suggests the senior officer who was in bed at the time of the attack at night had futilely tried to resist.
Evgeny told of the horrific scene he witnessed.
He said: “I opened the front door and saw mud on the floor. The door into my parents’ bedroom was open.
“I rushed in – my father and mother were lying there in blood.
They were killed right there, when they were sleeping. I went to the next room.
“Andrey and his wife were there.
Andrey’s back was all covered in bruises, he was lying on his stomach.
“I rushed upstairs, my wife and niece were sleeping there, and my daughter too.
“My girl was all swelled from beating. It looks like they beat them with wooden bats and some metal rods.
“I rushed to the neighbour to call an ambulance and police,”
He added: “All our security cameras were smashed.”
Police found a bomb when they arrived but it turned out to be a fake, a red herring planted in order to complicate investigations.
Gosht was deputy head of police in Samara, an industrial region on the Volga River.
Before that he had served as police chief of Syzran, the third largest city in Samara region.
According to a source, little Sofia is unlikely to survive and if she does, will live with disabilities.
MP Alexander Khinshtein said on TV that said the main motive is thought to be revenge by a criminal gang.
Another theory was that a dispute with local builders could be behind the killing.
The Investigative Committee – also known as the Russian FBI – has been put in charge of the murder probe.