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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs