Thu, 28 Oct 2021

A gunman who opened fire and killed several people at a university in the Urals city of Perm is in intensive care after being wounded during his apprehension by law enforcement.

The Investigative Committee said in a statement that six people died in the attack on September 20 and another 28 injured before the gunman was shot. The committee had previously said eight people died in the shooting.

The Health Ministry said 24 people were being treated in the hospital without providing further details.

University spokesperson Natalia Pechishcheva had earlier said the shooter had been 'liquidated' but later said he was in police custody.

Video showed the gunman walking along a path toward a building on campus. He then entered one of the university's buildings around 11 a.m. local time and then opened fire.

The REN TV channel published footage showing people jumping out of the windows from the second floor of one building on the campus.

The perpetrator used a gun designed to fire nonlethal rubber or plastic projectiles, the university press service said. Such weapons can be modified to fire other ammunition. The Investigative Committee referred to the weapon as a smooth-bore hunting rifle.

State news agency RIA Novosti cited local officials as saying the gunman owned the weapon legally.

The university in Perm, a city of about 1 million people some 1,200 kilometers northeast of Moscow, said on its VKontakte page that students and faculty were told to immediately close their classroom and office doors and stay put. Lessons were canceled, it added.

The university, which has 12,000 students enrolled, said about 3,000 people were on the campus at the time of the shooting.

The shooting is the second major attack by a gunman at a school in Russia in four months and underscores a rise in such attacks, which were once considered extremely rare in Russia.

Several steps have been taken to try to make schools safer around the country, adding to security measures implemented in the decade following the Beslan school siege, in which more than 330 people -- most of them children -- were killed in North Ossetia after militants took more than 1,000 hostages on the first day of school in 2004.

Still, in May, 19-year-old Ilnaz Galyaviev attacked a school in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan, killing nine people -- seven students from the eighth grade and two teachers.

Galyaviev was found to be mentally ill after a psychiatric evaluation.

The shooting prompted Russian lawmakers to tighten gun controls.

The September 20 attack has also brought back memories of a January 2018 incident when 11 children and a teacher were injured in Perm when two 16-year-olds entered a classroom and slashed them with knives.

With reporting by TASS, RBK, TV Rain, Reuters, and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

More St Petersburg (Russia) News

Access More

Sign up for St Petersburg News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!