At least nine people – seven children, a teacher and an employee – were killed and around 30 were injured on Tuesday in a school shooting in the Russian city of Kazan, 827 km from Moscow.
The exact number of victims has not yet been officially confirmed. Previously, Russian news agencies had quoted sources from the Ministry of Health as saying at least 11 people had been killed. The death toll may increase further, as there are serious injuries.
Ilnaz Galyaviyev, 19, was identified as the author of the shootings and arrested by the police, according to Rustam Minnikhanov, president of Tatarstan – the Russian republic with Kazan as its capital -, who described the crime as a terrorist act. According to him, there is nothing to indicate that the sniper had any accomplices. Previously, the local press had quoted a second sniper who was allegedly killed by officers.
A teacher reported that he heard the noises of explosions during the second class of the day and that, immediately, the students and teachers locked themselves in the rooms. According to him, the shots took place on the third floor of the building.
Videos on social media show students jumping out of school’s third-floor windows to escape the sniper, as well as an interior hallway with shattered glass and pieces of broken doors and a stained classroom blood with a body on the ground.
Another file shows that the police immobilized a young man near the building, but there is no confirmation as to whether the detainee was the sniper. A profile which belonged to Galyaviyev, and which was subsequently blocked, contained posts in which he described himself as a “bloodthirsty deity” and said that he planned to kill “a large number of people” and commit suicide.
The Russian commission of inquiry announced that the case would be treated as a homicide and initially ruled out the hypothesis that the crime was motivated by terrorism.
Attacks on schools are rare in Russia. One of the last major such attacks took place in the annexed territory of Crimea in 2018, when a university student killed 19 people and injured 40 others before committing suicide.
“It is the result of globalization, of social networks, of the Internet. We see that there is a whole community that has been created in there. It all started with the tragic events in schools in the United States. “said Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time.
In response to Tuesday’s attack, Putin decided the government would provide medical and psychological assistance to the victims and ordered an urgent review of the regulation of weapons used by civilians in Russia, the Kremlin spokesman said, Dmitry Peskov.
According to Peskov, the current rules allow the registration of hunting weapons and assault rifles as small arms, so control over these types of weapons is deficient.
According to Alexander Khinstein, Member of the Russian Parliament, the sniper obtained a firearms license on April 28 and owned a legally registered Hatsan Escort PS shotgun.
Ilnaz Galyaviyev has been described as a calm, calm and respectful student with his colleagues and professors at the university where he studied in Kazan. According to the Interfax news agency, he was kicked out of the institution last month after failing to submit a project and failing to take three tests.