There was one guy, but he don‘t shoot no more. A brutal son of a bitch. Most guys shoot to kill, he’d shoot to wound. Wait till his friends come to help. Kill them too. Turn one target into four. Men, women, children, killed 'em by the hundreds.
~ Swagger is told about Sczerbiak's past.
By the way...they got your woman...
~ Sczerbiak's last words to Swagger.

Mikhaylo Sczerbiak is a major antagonist in the 2007 movie Shooter. He is a hired hit-man for Sen. Charles Meachum and Colonel Johnson

He was portrayed by Rade Šerbedžija, who went on to portray Murad Hoxha.


During the movie

In his past, Sczerbiak was an expert marksman known for his brutality. While others tried to kill their enemies, he shot to wound and then killed every man, woman, and child that rushed to aid. At some point, he was tracked down by the government in an abandoned 6 story building. Instead of sending soldiers inside, the military called in an airstrike and destroyed the whole building. Sczerbiak survived, but his spine was harmed, forcing him to move only by the help of a wheelchair.

At some point, he was recruited by Johnson to kill the Archbishop of Ethiopia.

Sczerbiak is one of the men present when Johnson decides that Swagger is the right man to frame for the assassination of the archbishop. He is also present when Swagger tells Johnson about the results of his investigation though Swagger is completely oblivious of the man's true identity. On the day of the President's speech, Sczerbiak assassinates the Archbishop of Ethiopia. Due to being trapped in his wheelchair, he kills the archbishop with a remotely controlled sniper rifle.

Some days later, Sczerbiak informs Johnson about the death of the agents he sent to kill Memphis. Johnson concludes that Swagger is still alive. Later that day, Johnson tells Sczerbiak that Swagger will now come for him. When Sczerbiak argues that Swagger can never find him, Johnson tells him that sometimes when you want to catch a wolf, you have to tie a bait to the tree, telling Sczerbiak that he will be used as a bait to get to Swagger. When Sczerbiak asks what happens to the bait, Johnson says that "it's hard to say".

Raid on the ranch

The truth. That nothing, no matter how horrible, ever really happens without the approval of the government. […] Somehow, the villagers didn't think that an oil pipeline was good enough reason to move their village to a place where their spirit gods did not exist. […] Didn’t ask. Just killed them all. So the next village did not need to be asked. They just go. There is a mass grave with 400 bodies. Men, women, children, under the oil pumping station 10 kilometers over the Eritrean border. You should know. You covered the retreat of the contractors who did the job. Of course, you weren’t supposed to survived that either.
~ Sczerbiak tells Swagger about the genocide in Eritrea.

When Swagger and Memphis invade the ranch, Swagger kills the four guards and finds Sczerbiak inside. He asks about Johnson's real name and motivation in killing the Archbishop. Sczerbiak tells Swagger, that like Swagger, he was recruited for a single job. He also tells Swagger the reason for the death of the Archbishop: He was about to lay open the genocide on a village in Eritrea by US military because the village was in the way of a planned oil pipeline. Sczerbiak tells Swagger that the troops who committed the genocide were the same troops whose retreat he and Donnie covered three years ago. While he talks, soldiers assemble around the ranch. When Swagger is warned by Memphis, Sczerbiak states that his last job was to keep Swagger busy until the soldiers arrived. He says that all he told was true, stating that Swagger would have known if he lied. He draws a gun and aims it at his head. He warns Swagger that Johnson has kidnapped Sarah, then commits suicide. His remains are destroyed when the farm blows up.