- At least seven students, one teacher and another worker were fatally shot when a gunman opened fire at an elementary school Tuesday in the Russian city of Kazan, according to the mayor’s office and other Russian officials.
Kazan is the capital of the Muslim-majority Tatarstan region, where health officials said 21 people were hospitalized with injuries, including 18 children, six of whom were in "severely grave condition."
Rustam Minnikhanov, president of the Tatarstan region, said a lone gunman had been detained.
“The terrorist has been arrested. He's a 19-year-old who was officially registered as a gun owner,” Minnikhanov said. “Other accomplices haven’t been established. An investigation is underway."
Video circulated by Russia’s RIA news agency showed two children jumping from the third story of the four-story building to escape as shots were fired. Other video released by Russian media showed students running out of the building.
More security measures were immediately imposed in all schools in Kazan, located about 700 kilometers east of Moscow, authorities said.
Authorities also announced the closure of all schools in the region and a day of mourning to honor the victims on Wednesday.
The suspect was issued a permit for a shotgun on April 28, according to lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to provide all necessary assistance to the area and the national guard to draft more stringent gun regulations in response to the killings, the Kremlin said.
On the morning of the shootings, the suspect, a former student of the school, called himself “a god” and vowed to begin “killing a large amount of biomass” on his Telegram messaging app, according to the news outlet Meduza.
Tuesday’s school shootings were Russia’s deadliest since 2018, when a college student in Russian-annexed Crimea shot 20 people to death before killing himself.
School shootings in Russia are relatively rare, but they have increased in recent years.
Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency first reported 11 people had been killed, but authorities later revised the death toll to at least nine.