At least eight dead in Russian campus shooting

Published September 20, 2021
People stand behind the fence near the Perm State University with the a Posguardia (National Guardia) on the left, in Perm, Russia, Monday. — AP
People stand behind the fence near the Perm State University with the a Posguardia (National Guardia) on the left, in Perm, Russia, Monday. — AP

A student opened fire at a university campus in central Russia on Monday killing at least eight people, investigators said, in the second mass shooting at an education facility this year.

Russia's Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said several people were also injured in the attack at Perm State University and that the suspect had been wounded while being detained.

Investigators previously said that five people were killed and another six wounded.

Russia has relatively few school shootings due to normally tight security in education facilities and because of the difficulty of buying firearms legally, although it is possible to register hunting rifles.

Videos circulating on social media showed students throwing belongings from windows from buildings on campus before jumping to flee the shooter.

State media played amateur footage reportedly taken during the attack showing an individual dressed in black tactical clothing, including a helmet, carrying a weapon and walking through the campus.

The last such deadly attack took place in May 2021, when a 19-year-old gunman opened fire in his old school in the central Russian city of Kazan, killing nine people.

Investigators said that man suffered from a brain disorder. But he was deemed fit to receive a licence for the semi-automatic shotgun he used in the attack.

On the day of that attack — one of the worst in recent Russian history — President Vladimir Putin called for a review of gun control laws.

In November 2019, a 19-year-old student in the far eastern town of Blagoveshchensk opened fire at his college, killing one classmate and injuring three other people before shooting and killing himself.

In October 2018, another teenage gunman killed 20 people at a Kerch technical college in Crimea, the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

He was shown in camera footage wearing a similar T-shirt to Eric Harris, one of the killers in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in the US, which left 13 people dead.

The Crimea shooter was able to legally obtain a gun licence after undergoing marksmanship training and being examined by a psychiatrist.

The country's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has prevented dozens of armed attacks on schools in recent years.

In February 2020, the FSB said it had detained two teenagers on suspicion of plotting an attack on a school in the city of Saratov with weapons and homemade explosives.

Authorities have claimed that young Russians are being increasingly exposed to negative influences online, especially from the West.

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