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At least seven eighth-graders dead in school shooting in central Russia

One suspect arrested, another reported killed; at least 12 hospitalized in ‘terrorist’ killing spree

Ambulances, police cars and a truck are parked at a school after a shooting in Kazan, Russia, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Roman Kruchinin)
Ambulances, police cars and a truck are parked at a school after a shooting in Kazan, Russia, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Roman Kruchinin)

MOSCOW, Russia — A school shooting erupted Tuesday morning in the Russian city of Kazan, killing seven students and leaving 16 people hospitalized with wounds, a Russian governor reported.

Rustam Minnikhanov, governor of Russia’s Tatarstan republic which has Kazan as its capital, said Tuesday that four male and three female eighth-grade students died in the shooting at the city’s School No. 175. Twelve more children and four adults were hospitalized in the attack, Minnikhanov said.

Interfax reported that eight students and one teacher had been killed. Russia’s state RIA Novosti news agency reported earlier that a total of 11 people had been killed in the Kazan school shooting, citing local emergency officials. There was no way to immediately reconcile the differing death tolls.

Videos posted to social media showed students fleeing the school, some jumping from third-story windows.

Authorities said additional security measures were put into place in all schools in Kazan, a city roughly 700 kilometers (430 miles) east of Moscow.

“The terrorist has been arrested, (he is) 19 years old. A firearm is registered in his name. Other accomplices haven’t been established, an investigation is underway,” Minnikhanov said after visiting the school Tuesday.

News agencies citing official sources later reported that a second suspected gunman had been killed.

“According to preliminary information, the second attacker in the school in Kazan who remained in the building was killed,” the TASS state news agency reported, citing a law enforcement source.

Police have opened a criminal investigation into the incident. Footage of the school building Tuesday showed dozens of ambulances lined up in front of the entrance.

Minnikhanov visited the scene on Tuesday.

“I was in class, I first heard an explosion, then gunshots,” TASS quoted a teacher as saying.

Another source cited by the RIA Novosti agency said they had heard an explosion and could see smoke rising from the building.

While school shootings are relatively rare in Russia, there have been several violent attacks on schools in recent years, mostly carried out by students.

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

In October 2018, a teenage gunman killed 20 people at the Kerch technical college in Crimea, the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The 18-year-old attacker, who also set off explosives in one of the school’s buildings, shot himself dead at the site.

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

In February last year, 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.

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