News / Europe

    Moscow Teen Kills Two in Rare Russian School Shooting

    Interior Ministry members stand guard as bystanders and relatives of students gather behind a fence near a high school, where a student fatally shot a teacher and a police officer dead, on the outskirts of Moscow, Feb. 3, 2014.
    Interior Ministry members stand guard as bystanders and relatives of students gather behind a fence near a high school, where a student fatally shot a teacher and a police officer dead, on the outskirts of Moscow, Feb. 3, 2014.
    Reuters
    A teenager described as a model student shot a teacher and a police officer dead and took more than 20 of his schoolmates hostage in a Moscow classroom on Monday, days before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics under tight security.

    The suspect was disarmed and detained about an hour after the shootings after talking to his father, the owner of the two rifles with which he forced his way into the school in northern Moscow at midday.

    The incident rattled nerves in a country on high alert for Islamist militant violence as athletes and spectators arrive for the Sochi Games, a prestige project that will help shape President Vladimir Putin's legacy.

    Putin, who says young Russians are suffering from a moral vacuum left by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, said the attack might have been avoided with better cultural education.

    It is almost unheard-of for a student to attack a school in Russia. A horrific assault in 2004 on a school in Beslan in the North Caucasus, in which more than 330 people were killed, was the work of Islamist separatists.

    Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the Moscow student may have suffered an "emotional breakdown".

    The attacker knocked on the door of the 10th grade class about five minutes after the start of a lesson, his classmate Ivan Chekanov, one of the students who was held hostage, told Reuters later on Monday.

    "We were glad to see him at first - but then he shot the geography teacher," Chekanov, 16, told Reuters. "He fired the shot, then he got up onto the podium, laid out his rifles and said he had 100 bullets and that he had come to die."

    "Why is He Still Alive?"

    "Andrei Nikolayevich [the teacher] was dripping with blood, he had fallen but he was still alive," he said. [The attacker] asked us: 'Why is he still alive? I killed him.' Everyone was silent."

    "He said, 'Well, guys, your answer gets a 'D', and fired several more shots," Chekanov said by telephone.

    The shooting sent dozens of other students scurrying into the street in sub-zero temperatures while a police helicopter landed in a snow-covered field outside and at least six ambulances rolled up to the scene.

    Officials said the assailant had also shot a policeman responding to the incident, who died in hospital, and that another policeman had been wounded.

    The incident began around noon when the attacker cocked a gun at a guard who tried to stop him entering the school, the federal Investigative Committee said.

    It said the guard had managed to press an alarm button, bringing police to the school. "When the police entered, the shooter opened fire at them, wounding one and killing another."

    Markin said the assailant fired at least 11 shots.

    His father was brought in and spent 15 minutes talking to his son by phone before being given a bulletproof vest and going into the classroom. His son began releasing students 30 minutes later, Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin said.

    "Once all the students were released and he was alone with his father, special forces ... seized the moment and the 10th grader was neutralised and detained," Yakunin said.

    Chekanov said the attacker had phoned his mother from the classroom. "Then his father called, and he told him where the geography room was, and to come unarmed."

    "His father asked him what he had done, where he had got the rifle," Chekanov said. "He got the weapons at home and he got the ammunition from the dresser or the cabinet - he answered something like that."

    "He was Like Einstein"

    A former classmate, Sakhobudin Tagoyev, said the alleged attacker was a model student who in the past had "set an example for the whole school".

    "The teachers liked and respected him," Tagoyev said in an exchange with Reuters online. "He was like Einstein."

    But Tagoyev also said the alleged attacker was quick to get nervous "if something did not work out for him ... or if he got bad grades".

    Russian media said the alleged assailant might have been settling a score with the geography teacher. But Markin said there were "no serious grounds" to suspect the attack was the result of a personal conflict.

    Putin told a Kremlin advisory council on the arts and culture in Pskov that "the new generation ... needs to be raised with good artistic taste and the ability to understand and value the theatrical, dramatic and musical arts".

    "And if this was done as it should be in our country, maybe there would not be tragedies like the tragedy in Moscow today."

    Irina Yarovaya, a pro-Kremlin lawmaker who heads the security committee in the State Duma, put some blame on "propaganda of aggression", such as violent computer games, but also said access to guns should be tightened.

    She said the punishment for legal gun owners whose negligence enabled others to get their hands on weapons was "infinitesimal". The maximum sentence for the offence is six months.

    Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov suggested Russia had embraced U.S. culture with deadly effect.

    "Moscow school shooting: American movies and domestic serials, full of violence, are producing results - now it is like the USA here," he tweeted. "Is this what we wanted?"

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora