At least 13 killed in Russia’s Izhevsk school shooting

A gunman wearing a T-shirt with a red swastika opened fire at a school in the central Russian city of Izhevsk on Monday, killing at least 13 people, including seven children, the Russian Investigative Committee reported. The gunman, who was armed with two weapons, also reportedly killed himself.

Among the dead were a school security guard and two school teachers. The commission of inquiry said 21 people were injured – 14 children and seven adults.

The attack took place at the First School. 88 Izhevsk, capital of the Udmurt Republic in central Russia, west of the Ural Mountains. The investigative committee identified the gunman as Artem Kazantsev, a 34-year-old local resident who was a former student at the school. Investigators are searching his home.

The shooting did not appear to be related to a spate of violence that followed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial military mobilization in recent days. In the latest incident, a young Russian man shot and killed the head of the local army recruitment office in Siberia’s Irkutsk region on Monday.

By contrast, the school shooting in Izhevsk may have been a hate crime.

According to reports, the gunman, wearing black pants, a black jacket, a swastika T-shirt and a black balaclava, opened fire at school security, many as young as seven, before walking into the school and opening fire on the children. Local media accounts.

“An unknown attacker broke into school number 88, killed the security guard and started shooting,” Udmurt Republic leader Alexander Brecharov said before the attacker was identified. “There are victims among the children. The attacker committed suicide.”

Panicked children fled the school during the attack as police rushed up stairwells and school corridors with pistols raised, according to video broadcast by local independent media.

According to a video posted by local media, the children huddled silently with their teachers in the classroom. In another video, gunshots can be heard as children and staff take cover.

A seventh-grade boy at the school jumped from a third-floor window to escape gunfire and broke his leg, Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komomolets reported.

In photos of the scene released by local media, ammunition clips with the words “hate” written in red paint were stacked on a table next to the gunman’s body. Columbine, Dylan and Eric were woven into two pistols near his body, a reference to the 1999 Columbine School massacre in which 13 people were killed by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the attack an “inhuman act of terrorism” and said Putin was deeply saddened. Peskov said the president called the head of the Udmur Republic and other officials and “gives all the necessary instructions”.

Putin insists that the Ukrainian war was aimed at eliminating “Nazis” in eastern Ukraine, and he and his supporters baselessly call the elected government in Kyiv a “Nazi regime.”

However, Russia has long had far-right neo-Nazis in its own population. It is unclear whether the gunmen who attacked the Izhevsk school were members of any such groups in Russia.

School shootings in Russia are relatively rare compared to the United States, but are likely to become more common, with three mass shootings at educational institutions since last May.

Just over a year ago, Timur Bekmansurov, an 18-year-old college student, killed six people and injured 47 at Perm State University.

Last May, 21-year-old Irnaz Galiaviev killed nine people, including seven children, at a school in Kazan, Tatarstan.

In 2018, Kerch Polytechnic fourth-year student Vladimir Roslyakov killed 21 and wounded 67 in Russia’s worst school shooting.

Ukraine war: what you need to know

Newest: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of the military in his Sept. 9 national address. On the 21st, the move was characterized as an attempt to defend Russia’s sovereignty against the West, which was trying to use Ukraine as a tool to “divide and destroy Russia.” Follow us here for live updates.

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