MOSCOW (AP) _ A wealthy Russian businessman was gunned down Monday in downtown St. Petersburg in an apparent contract killing, and one passer-by also died in the shooting, a news report said.

Boris Ivanov, identified as on of St. Petersburg's richest men, was the owner of several hotels and nightclubs.

The NTV network said Ivanov was also known in the criminal underworld as ``Bob the Collector'' and allegedly had been convicted of embezzlement and currency scheming in the past.

The attackers waited for Ivanov in bushes lining a street and riddled his black Mercedes with automatic weapon fire as he drove past.

The guns used in the shooting were left at the scene _ usually a sign of a contract killing.

According to NTV, three bystanders were wounded in the shooting, one of whom later died in a hospital. Police confirmed Ivanov's killing but declined to give further details.

Hundreds of contract killings are committed across Russia every year. They are often the result of battles for control over financial assets, and suspects are rarely apprehended.