Seven of the victims — four boys and three girls — were students in eighth grade, according to reports.
At least nine people died in a school shooting and explosion in the Russian city of Kazan on Tuesday, according to Russian state-run media reports.
Seven students, a teacher, and another school employee died in the attack at School Number 175, RIA Novosti reported, citing Rustam Minnikhanov, governor of Tatarstan, where Kazan is located.
All seven students — four boys and three girls — were in eighth grade. About 20 other people were injured.
Local reports suggest the attack began around 10 a.m. local time. Teachers and students told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that they heard a powerful explosion in the school before they heard shooting and fled.
Neighbors across from the school shared videos on social media showing smoke rising from the building moments after the first blast was heard. Another video showed debris from inside the school.
A video posted by Russian Telegram news channels shows children jumping out of the school’s windows amid the crack of gunfire. RIA Novosti, citing a source in the emergency services, reported that two more students died after jumping from a third-floor window, but those deaths have not been confirmed.
Minnikhanov said the shooter, a 19-year-old with a registered weapon, had been arrested. The independent Novaya Gazeta news site identified the alleged shooter as Ilnaz Galyaviyev and published a photograph of him in police custody. Novaya Gazeta said he was a graduate of the school.
Footage published by the Telegram news channel Mash showed what appeared to be the shooter surrendering and being pinned to the ground by police. Early reports suggested a second shooter may have been involved, but Minnikhanov said “other accomplices haven’t been established.”
The deadly shooting prompted a call from Russian President Vladimir Putin to tighten the country’s gun laws, RIA Novosti reported, citing Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
Peskov told reporters in Moscow that Putin gave a special order to the head of the Russian National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, “to hammer out new regulations on the types of weapons that are designated for civilian use, and which weapons may be in the possession of citizens, including the types of small arms the gunman used in this shooting.”
“The fact is that sometimes, hunting weapons are registered as small arms, which in some countries are used as assault rifles, and so on. This too will be swiftly hammered out by the National Guard,” Peskov added.
School shootings in Russia and the former Soviet Republics are rarer than they are in the US, but their frequency has risen in recent years. In November 2019, a gunman shot and killed a student at a college in Russia’s far east before killing himself. And in October 2018, in Russia-annexed Crimea, a student at a college there killed 20 people before turning the gun on himself.
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