At least eight people have been killed and many more wounded during a shooting at a school in the southwestern city of Kazan, Russia officials said Tuesday (May 11). One of the victims was a teacher and the other seven were students, state media reported.
“Two of the children who died in the school shooting plunged to [their] death as they jumped out of a third-floor window”, a spokesman for the local emergency services told Sputnik News.
The school founded in 2006 provides instruction for 1,049 pupils and is the place where 57 teachers work.
Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles responded to the incident. All students were eventually evacuated to nearby day care centers and collected by their families.
Witnesses also told state media that there had been an explosion during the attack before the shooting began, although it was not immediately clear what caused the blast.
Some Russian news agencies were reporting that two teenage gunmen were involved and others said that a sole shooter took part.
“The terrorist has been arrested. He’s 19. He’s a registered firearm owner.Other accomplices haven’t been established, an investigation is underway ” Rustam Minnikhanov, head of the wider Tatarstan region of which Kazan is the capital, said after visiting the school.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin spoke of “great sorrow”. Responding to the shooting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would review the country’s gun control laws, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Tatarstan declares May 12 a day of mourning after the deadly assault to honor the victims of the shooting. Kazan, located about 725km east of Moscow, is the capital of the Muslim-majority region of Tatarstan.
Authorities have called for all schools in Tartarstan to be inspected and have their security stepped up.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case of mass murder.
School shootings are rare in Russia.
With reporting by RT, Sputnik News, The Moscow Times