A gunman killed several children and a teacher in a school shooting in Kazan, southwestern Russia, according to official statements by the regional governor.
Rustam Minnikhanov said Tuesday that four eighth-grade male and three female students were killed in the shooting. Twelve more children and four adults were hospitalized in the attack, Minnikhanov added. He did not mention the death of a teacher, who had appeared in many of the first reports in various media. However, the Minnikhanov press service later added that a teacher was also killed.
“The terrorist has been arrested, (he is) 19 years old. A firearm is registered in your name. No other accomplices have been established, an investigation is underway, ”Rustam Minnikhanov said after visiting the school, adding that security had been restored.
Initial reports from various national media outlets gave a somewhat distorted view of the incident. The Interfax agency reported that two armed men had opened fire at the school and one of them, a 17-year-old boy, had already been arrested. Other reports have begun to suggest that a single shooter acted alone.
Russian media said the attacker was a former school student who reportedly called himself “God” on his account on the Telegram messaging app and promised to “kill a large amount of biomass” on the morning of the shooting. . The account was blocked by Telegram after the attack, the independent news outlet Meduza said.
Russian lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein said on Telegram that the man received his gun license less than two weeks ago. Khinshtein also said the school had no security other than a panic button.
Russian media also have conflicting death and injury figures as the scale of the horrific incident is still unfolding, but the latest report from Tatarstan health officials says 21 people were hospitalized with injuries after the attack, including 18 children, six of them in intensive care.
In an earlier statement issued by the Kazan mayor’s office, the casualty figures were said to be “a total of 8 people, of which 7 were children, and 4 more people were injured at the original figures (now 20).
“We are sorry for the loss, this is a terrible tragedy. We will try to keep you informed about new developments,” the statement read.
National Anti-Terrorism Committee of Russia it also issued a statement. They also mention only one attacker.
“An armed criminal opened fire at gym No. 175, located on Jaudata Faizi street. An anti-terrorist operation is being carried out in the territory adjacent to the gym, and an adequate legal regime has been introduced. Power structures are complying. the necessary operational search measures and investigation actions. The students were evacuated. The aggressor was detained by law enforcement officers. “
Local officials said some children were evacuated from the school, but others still remained in the building. Authorities said additional security measures have been put in place at all schools in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Tatarstan region, about 700 kilometers (430 miles) east of Moscow.
A witness who lives nearby said: “There was an explosion, maybe two explosions. There was a loud bang, we jumped up and thought it was a truck. But then we heard alarms and ran away.”
Authorities said additional security measures had been put in place at all schools in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Tatarstan region. Media reports say May 12 will be a day of national mourning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and those injured in the shooting and ordered the government to review gun regulations in light of the attack. The Russian Emergency Ministry sent a plane with doctors and medical equipment to Kazan.
While school shootings are relatively rare in Russia, there have been several violent attacks on schools in recent years, mostly carried out by students.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism