At least 6 killed in mass shooting at Russian university

28 others hurt; student gunman wounded while being detained

Students evacuate a building of the Perm university campus in Perm, Russia on September 20, 2021 following a shooting. (Olga Yushkova / AFP)
Students evacuate a building of the Perm university campus in Perm, Russia on September 20, 2021 following a shooting. (Olga Yushkova / AFP)

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

Videos circulating on social media showed people throwing belongings from windows of university buildings in the central city of Perm before jumping to flee the shooter.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said several people were injured in the attack at Perm State National Research University and that the suspect, a student at the university, had been wounded while being detained.

The Investigative Committee initially said eight people were killed but later revised the number of deaths to six.

It said 28 people were being treated after the attack at Perm State National Research University. “Some of them have been hospitalized with injuries of varying severity,” it said in a statement.

It said the gunman, later identified as a student at the university, carried out the shooting with a hunting rifle he purchased earlier this year.

In this grab taken from video, a group of students react and speak on their phones near the Perm State University in Perm, about 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, September 20, 2021. (AP Photo)

“During his arrest, he put up resistance and was wounded, after which he was taken to a medical facility,” the statement said.

The health ministry, in comments cited by Russian news agencies, said 19 among the wounded were being treated for gunshots. It was not clear how the others were injured.

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 university, which has 12,000 students enrolled, said about 3,000 people were on the campus at the time of the shooting. The school is in the city of Perm, which is about 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow with a population of about 1 million.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting in Moscow, Russia, September 9, 2021. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

President Vladimir Putin had been notified of the shooting, the Kremlin said, adding that the health and science ministers had been ordered to travel to Perm to coordinate assistance for the victims.

“The president expresses sincere condolences to those who have lost family and loved ones as a result of this incident,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Regional authorities said that classes at local schools, colleges, and universities were canceled on Monday.

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.

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 license for the semi-automatic shotgun that he used in the attack.

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

An armed police officer, center, and firefighters gather at the Perm State University in Perm, about 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, September 20, 2021. (AP/Anastasia Yakovleva)

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 United States that left 13 people dead.

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

Russia’s FSB security service says that it has prevented dozens of armed attacks on schools in recent years.

In February 2020, the FSB said that 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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