A student opened fire today at the state university in Perm, a city in the Urals in eastern Russia, killing at least eight people and injuring 28, according to the Russian Investigative Committee.
According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the gunman was arrested and during his arrest, he was injured and transported to the hospital, as reported by the RIA agency.
Earlier, citing a university spokesperson Natalia Petsiskeva, Reuters reported that the perpetrator had been killed.
Media footage shows students jumping out of the first-floor windows and running to be rescued. Students built barricades out of chairs to stop the shooter from entering their classrooms, they said. Another video shows the gunman dressed in black.
According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the perpetrator was a student at the same university. He entered the university around 11 a.m. local time. He has been identified, but his identity has not been made public.
However, local media reported that he was an 18-year-old student, who had earlier uploaded on social media a photo of himself posing with a rifle, helmet and ammunition.
“I have been thinking about it for a long time, years have passed and I realized it was time to do what I dreamed of,” he wrote on his social media account. His account was then deleted.
The motive of the perpetrator has not been made known as the Russian Investigative Committee, which handles all probes in the country, made no reference to it.
However, local media, citing his post on social media, wrote that his actions are not related to politics or religion, but his motive was hatred.
In fact, the Russian social network VK, as reported by Sputnik, deleted the post about the attack and blocked the perpetrator’s account. The network will continue to monitor the situation and look for fake accounts and copies of the original post regarding the attack, the university’s press service announced.
Emergency management services reported that a plane with the necessary medical equipment left Moscow for Perm to provide assistance to the injured.
According to the latest data from the Russian Ministry of Health, seven injured people were taken to a hospital in Perm, one of whom is being treated in serious condition.
Russian President sent his condolences to the relatives of the victims
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences to the relatives of the victims, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peshkov said.
“The president was briefed on what happened at the University of Perm. He asked Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to send the Ministers of Education and Health to Perm so that they organize assistance to the victims and the relatives of those who lost their lives in the tragedy,” Peshkov told reporters.
Many incidents of shooting at Russian educational institutions
Russia has strict restrictions on civilian firearm ownership, but some categories of weapons are available for sale, such as arms for hunting, legal defence, or sports weapons, if their potential holders pass the required examinations.
This attack is the latest in a series of attacks on Russian educational institutions.
Last May, an armed teenager opened fire inside a school in the city of Kazan, killing nine people and injuring many more.
This was the bloodiest school attack in Russian history since 2018 when a college student in the Russian-annexed Crimea killed 20 people and then committed suicide.
Following the attack in Kazan, Russia raised the legal age limit for arms purchases from 18 to 21, but the new law has not yet entered into force.