MOSCOW (AP) – A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia yesterday, killing 13 people, including seven children, and wounding 21 others.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said the shooting took place in School No 88 in Izhevsk, a city about 960 kilometres east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region. It identified the wounded as 14 children and seven adults.
The governor of Udmurtia, Alexander Brechalov, said in a video statement that the gunman shot himself.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the shooting as “a terrorist act” and said that President Vladimir Putin has given all the necessary orders to the relevant authorities.
“President Putin deeply mourns deaths of people and children in the school, where a terrorist act took place,” Peskov told reporters yesterday. The school educates children between grades 1 and 11.
It has been evacuated and the area around it has been cordoned off, the governor said. The Investigative Committee identified the gunman as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the same school.
It said in a statement that Kazantsev wore a black t-shirt. No details about his motives have been released.
Russia’s National Guard said Kazantsev used two non-lethal handguns adapted to fire real bullets.
A criminal probe into the incident has been launched on charges of multiple murder and illegal possession of firearms. Izhevsk, a city of 640,000, is located west of the Ural mountains in central Russia.