Russian officials say seven children and a teacher have been killed in a shooting at a school in the city of Kazan, while more than 20 others have been wounded.
The BBC reports that the attack took place in republic of Tatarstan, which is Muslim dominated. Tatarstan’s leader Rustam Minnikhanov described the attack as a “major tragedy”. Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has vowed to review the country’s gun control laws.
School shootings are not common in Russia. The BBC reports that the last major incident occurred in Russian-annexed Crimea in 2018.
Tuesday’s shooting happened at about 09:20 local time, at School No. 175, with police and emergency vehicles responding to the incident after having received a signal from a panic button 5 minutes later.
The suspected attacker is thought to have studied at the school in the past. Investigators said he was a Kazan resident locally known as Ilnaz Galyaviev. In social media videos children could be seen jumping from windows to escape. Two of the children reportedly died after jumping from a second-floor window. Other videos show injured people being evacuated. Yet another showed a teenager lying on the ground apparently being detained outside the building.
One student said, “Everyone started panicking and saying ‘shut the doors’.” She said, “We got out about 15 minutes later, not out of the windows. I wanted to do that, but the teacher closed the window immediately and said no.”
Eight deaths have been confirmed: four male and three female eighth-grade students. A teacher was also killed. According to the BBC, more than 20 others were injured, with 12 children and four adults having to be hospitalized. Six children are in a critical condition.