Saturday, October 16

Several killed in shooting at Russian university

Several killed in shooting at Russian university

At least eight people have been killed after a student opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm, according to the national Investigative Committee law enforcement agency.

The suspect was detained shortly after launching the attack on Monday morning at Perm State University, which is about 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) east of the capital, Moscow.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said the shooter had been identified as a student at the university. It has opened a murder probe into the incident.

Local media footage showed students fleeing the attack, with some seen jumping from first-floor windows to escape the university, landing heavily on the ground before running to safety.

Students built barricades out of chairs to stop the shooter from entering their classrooms, they said.

“There were about 60 people in the classroom. We closed the door and barricaded it with chairs,” student Semyon Karyakin told Reuters.

The university, which has 12,000 students enrolled, said about 3,000 people were on the campus at the time of the shooting. It had urged those who could leave the campus to do so.

At least six people were also injured in the attack, said Russia’s Investigative Committee. The severity of the injuries was not immediately clear.

The Perm region’s health ministry region reported 24 people wounded, including 19 with bullet wounds. The different numbers could not be immediately reconciled.

Russia has strict restrictions on civilian firearm ownership but some categories of guns are available for purchase for hunting, self-defence or sport, once would-be owners have passed tests and met other requirements.

Monday’s suspect used a gun designed to fire non-lethal rubber or plastic projectiles, the Associated Press news agency reported, citing the Perm State University’s press service. Such weapons can be modified to fire other ammunition.

School and university shootings are relatively rare in Russia.

On May 11 this year, a teenager in Kazan killed seven children and two teachers at a school, prompting President Vladimir Putin to tighten gun law ownership.

Russia raised the legal age for buying firearms from 18 to 21 after the Kazan shooting, but the new law has yet to come into force.

That was Russia’s deadliest school shooting since 2018, when a student at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea killed 20 people before turning his gun on himself.

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