Crime & Justice

At least 15, including 11 children, killed in central Russia school shooting

(Update 1: increases death toll, adds detail)

Moscow, Sep 26 (EFE).- At least 15 people, including 11 minors, were killed and 24 injured in a shooting at a school in Izhevsk, a central Russian city located at the bottom of the Ural mountains, authorities said on Monday.

The governor of the Udmurtia province – where the city is located – Alexander Brechalov, said in a video statement on Telegram that the tragedy had taken place at the school number 88 in Izhevsk.

The gunman, who killed himself shortly after the shooting, was identified as Artyom Kazantsev, 34, and was a former student at the school.

Kazantsev was a registered patient at a psychiatric hospital, the Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement, adding that he was armed with two air pistols with lethal ammunition. Photos released by the Committee showed the shooter wearing a t-shirt with Nazi symbols.

The 35-year-old opened fire at the school at around 11 am local time (07:00 GMT). Pupils said he shot one of the guards dead as soon as he entered the main gate.

Some of the students had to jump out of windows to escape and suffered various injuries and fractures, medical sources said. Among the injured are 22 children.

Local authorities of Udmurtia have declared a period of mourning, which will last until September 29.

“President (Vladimir) Putin deeply regrets the death of people and children in the school where a terrorist attack took place,” the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said, adding that the shooter belonged to a “neo-fascist organisation”.

The tragedy in Izhevsk, home to some 600,000 people, follows two similar attacks in 2021.

In May last year, a former student opened fire at a school in Kazan, in the Russian republic of Tatarstan, killing nine people and wounding 23, most of them children.

A few months later, in September, a shooting at a university in Perm, in the Urals, killed six and injured 50. The perpetrator was a student at the law faculty and was armed with a shotgun and a knife.

Monday’s shooting has reignited the debate on gun ownership in Russia.

Russian media outlets reported that around 1,000 students were enrolled in Izhevesk’s school no. 88, situated meters away from the municipal office of the city. EFE


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