Officials said that a man opened fire at a school in central Russia on Monday, killing at least 15 people, including 11 children.
One of the deadliest school shootings Russia has seen, according to local authorities, at least 21 additional people were hurt, some critically, in the incident at the school in the city of Izhevsk, roughly 600 miles from Moscow. According to the region’s governor, the dead included two teachers and two security personnel.
According to police, the alleged shooter committed suicide in the school after the assault. He was recognised as a 34-year-old former pupil at the institution. He was identified as Artyem Kazantsev by Russia’s Investigative Committee, which deals with major crimes, and the organisation broadcast a video purportedly showing his body lying in a pool of blood in a classroom.
The shooting’s motivation is still unknown, but the Committee said it was looking into any “neofascist ideas” the shooter, who can be seen in the footage it posted wearing what appears to be a T-shirt with a red swastika, may have had.
The incident was described as a “terrorist act” by the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin.
“President Putin is saddened by the loss of people and children at the terrorist attack’s target school. According to everything, the perpetrator is a member of a neofascist organisation or group, Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, said reporters.
Early in the morning, when the kids were in school, the gunfire started. A video that was making the rounds in Russian media showed students hiding behind desks, with blood spots on the ground. Emergency personnel were spotted removing injured people from the building on stretchers as police closed off the school.
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According to Alexander Khinstein, the head of the parliamentary committee on information policy, technology, and communications in Russia, the gunman had two firearms.
In Russia, school shootings have historically been very uncommon but have recently increased in frequency.
A teenager attacked a school in Kazan in May 2021, killing seven children and two adults. In April of this year, a guy shot and killed two children and a teacher at a kindergarten in the Ulyanovsk region. In Kerch, in the occupied Crimean peninsula, an 18-year-old student detonated a device, which resulted in the deaths of 21 people and the injuries of scores more.