At least eight dead and several injured after gunman opens fire at Russian university

World

At least eight people have been killed and dozens injured after a gunman opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm, officials have said.

The gunman at Perm State University was “neutralised”, according to the independent Russian news agency Interfax.

The Russian Investigative Committee said the suspect had been identified as a student, and that he was “wounded” while being arrested and is receiving treatment in hospital.

A car of Russia's National Guard is seen at the scene after a gunman opened fire at the Perm State University in Perm, Russia September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Anna Vikhareva NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
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Students and staff said they locked themselves in rooms during the attack

Reuters news agency reported local media had identified the gunman as an 18-year-old student who had earlier posted a photo of himself posing with a rifle, helmet and ammunition on social media.

“I’ve thought about this for a long time, it’s been years and I realised the time had come to do what I dreamt of,” he
reportedly wrote on a social media account attributed to him that was later taken down.

He indicated his actions had nothing to do with politics or religion but were motivated by hatred.

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

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Students and staff at the university locked themselves in rooms, and the university urged those who could leave the campus to do so.

Law enforcement officers work near the scene after a gunman opened fire at the Perm State University in Perm, Russia September 20, 2021, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Anna Vikhareva NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
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Law enforcement officers at the university campus

Russia’s TASS news agency quoted police as saying that some students jumped out of windows of a building during the incident.

Some people in the building used chairs to stop the gunman from entering their classrooms.

“There were about 60 people in the classroom. We closed the door and barricaded it with chairs,” student Semyon Karyakin told Reuters.

The Health Ministry said 24 people were hurt – 19 from bullet wounds.

Forensic investigators have been sent to the university to assist with the police investigation.

Law enforcement officers work near the scene after a gunman opened fire at the Perm State University in Perm, Russia September 20, 2021, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Anna Vikhareva NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Image:
Law enforcement officers at the university campus

Perm is situated about 700 miles (1,127km) east of Moscow, with a population of about one million.

Russia has strict restrictions on civilian firearm ownership, but some categories of guns are available for purchase for hunting, self-defence or sport, once would-be owners have passed tests and met other requirements.

In May, several people were killed when a teenage gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan.

Following the shooting, the legal age for buying firearms was raised from 18 to 21, but the new law is yet to come into force.

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