MOSCOW (AP) — A gunman attacked a school in the Russian city of Kazan, sending students running out of the building as smoke poured from its windows. At least nine people were killed — seven eighth-grade students, a teacher and another school worker — and 21 others were hospitalized, Russian officials said.
Footage released by Russian media outlets showed students dressed in black and white running out of the building. Another video depicted shattered windows, billowing smoke and sounds resembling gunshots in the background. Dozens of ambulances lined up at the school’s entrance after the attack and police fenced off access to the building.
Russian media said while some students were able to escape, others were trapped inside during the ordeal. All students were eventually evacuated to nearby day care centers and collected by their families.
Officials said the attacker has been arrested and police opened a criminal investigation into the shooting. Authorities immediately put additional security measures into place in all schools in Kazan, a city 700 kilometers (430 miles) east of Moscow.
Rustam Minnikhanov, governor of the Tatarstan republic where Kazan is the capital, said four boys and three girls, all eighth-grade students, died, as well as a teacher and another school worker.
“The terrorist has been arrested, (he is) 19 years old. A firearm is registered in his name. Other accomplices haven’t been established, an investigation is underway,” Minnikhanov said after visiting the school.
According to Tatarstan health officials, 21 people were hospitalized with wounds after the attack, including 18 children, six of whom were in “severely grave condition.”
Authorities announced a day of mourning on Wednesday to honor the victims of the shooting and cancelled all lessons in Kazan schools.
While school shootings are relatively rare in Russia, there have been several violent attacks on schools in recent years, mostly by students. In response to Tuesday’s attack, authorities in several Russian regions ordered sweeping security inspections at schools.
Russian media said the shooter was a former student of the school who reportedly called himself “a god” on his account on the messaging app Telegram and promised to “kill a large amount of biomass” on the morning of the shooting. The account was blocked by Telegram after the attack, the independent news outlet Meduza said.
Russian lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein said on Telegram the suspect received his gun license less than two weeks ago and the school didn’t have any security aside from a panic button.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded, ordering the government to given them all the necessary assistance. Russian officials promised to pay victims; families 1 million rubles (roughly $13,500) each and give 200,000 to 400,000 rubles ($2,700-$5,400) to the wounded.
Putin also ordered Victor Zolotov, head of Russia’s National Guard, to revise regulations on the types of weapons allowed for civilian use in light of the attack. Authorities in Tatarstan ordered checks on all gun owners in the region.
Russia’s Emergency Ministry sent a plane with doctors and medical equipment to Kazan and two leading officials, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko and Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov, headed to the region.
3 adults dead, child injured in shooting
MARYLAND CITY, Md. (AP) — Three adults are dead and a child is injured after a shooting at a Maryland City home, Anne Arundel police said.
News outlets report that police believe that the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute involving one family and that the shooting suspect is among the dead. Police are working to confirm their identities.
Police officers responding to a 911 call around 9:30 p.m. reporting a shooting found three adults dead and a child injured. The child was taken to a local hospital. Police did not identify the age or gender of the victims or of the child. There is no threat to the community, police said.
Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad asked the community to rally around the victims’ families.
“This (gun violence) has to stop. This is devastating,” she said. “A young child right now is fighting for their life.
Reward offered after cat found bound, shot multiple times
BOSTON (AP) — An animal welfare group is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the conviction of whoever killed a cat found with its legs bound with masking tape and suffering from 11 BB gun wounds.
The animal was found under a car by Cambridge animal control responding to a report of a crying cat. By the time animal control arrived at the scene, the mostly black, young male cat had already died, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a statement Monday.
A necropsy at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston found that the cat had 11 BB wounds on its face and body, including one that punctured its lung and is believed to have caused the death.
The cat, named Gosha, had disappeard from outside its owners’ home in Cambridge.
Anyone with information is asked to call either the MSPCA or Cambridge police.
Animal cruelty is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000 in Massachusetts.