6 dead, dozens hurt in shooting at Russian university

Six people were killed and 28 injured after a shooting Monday at a Russian university. Officials said the gunman was a student who was shot by police and detained.

Students and staff locked themselves in rooms and jumped from windows to escape

Witnesses describe shooting at Russian university that killed 6

1 year ago
Duration 0:55
Students at university in Perm, Russia, describe running 'like a herd of sheep' from a gunman on a deadly spree on Monday. (Anna Vikhareva/REUTERS)

A student opened fire Monday at a university in Russia, leaving six people dead and 28 injured before he was shot by police and detained, officials said.

Beyond saying he was a student, authorities offered no further information about the identity of the shooter or a possible motive. 

A gunman opened fire Monday at a university in the Russian city of Perm, leaving at least six people dead and others wounded, officials said. (The Associated Press)

During the attack, students and staff at Perm State University locked themselves in rooms and video posted on Russian news sites showed some students jumping out of second-storey windows. The school is in the city of Perm, which is about 1,100 kilometres east of Moscow and has a population of about one million.

In some footage, a black-clad, helmeted figure could be seen striding on a campus sidewalk, cradling a long-barrelled weapon. Russia's Investigative Committee, the country's top body for criminal probes, said the gunman fired a smoothbore hunting weapon. 

In this still image taken from video, a group of students react after the shooting Monday near the Perm State University in Perm, about 1,100 kilometers east of Moscow. (The Associated Press)
A woman reacts Monday after a gunman opened fire at the university. (Anastasia Yakovleva/The Associated Press)

Authorities say 6 killed

The Investigative Committee said six people were killed, revising down its earlier figure of eight dead. No explanation was given for the change.

In a video released by the Interior Ministry, a witness whose name was not given said he saw the man outside after he had shot two people. The witness said the gunman appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest.

A traffic police unit was the first to reach the scene, and the suspect opened fire on them, according to the Interior Ministry. The suspect was wounded when police returned fire and was then disarmed, the ministry said. He also was armed with a knife, according to the ministry. 

One traffic officer said people were rushing out of the university building as gunshots were heard.

"I entered the building and saw an armed young man walking down the stairs. I shouted at him 'Drop it!' That's when he pointed the gun at me and fired. At that point, I used my gun," Officer Konstantin Kalinin said in the ministry video. 

People stand behind the fence near Russia's Perm State University. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the shooting a 'tremendous tragedy.' (Anastasia Yakovleva/The Associated Press)

"I feel shock, disdain and anger," student Olga Kechatova said later at a makeshift memorial outside the university. "People who study with me at the university suffered and died for nothing."

Although firearms laws are strict in Russia, many people obtain permits for hunting weapons. News reports cited officials as saying the suspect had a permit for a pump-action shotgun, although it was not clear if it was for the weapon used.

Despite the firearms regulations, mass shootings still take place in Russia. In May, a gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan, killing seven students and two teachers with a registered weapon. A student at a college in Russia-annexed Crimea killed 20 students and himself in 2018.

Putin calls shooting 'tremendous tragedy'

The university, which has 12,000 students enrolled, said about 3,000 people were on the campus at the time of the shooting.

The Investigative Committee said 28 people were injured, some of them hospitalized, but did not give details. The Health Ministry said 19 of them were shot but it was not clear how the others were injured.

After the Kazan shooting, President Vladimir Putin called on the national guard to tighten gun regulations. Russia then passed a law raising the minimum purchase age from 18 to 21. 

The Russian leader offered his condolences on Monday.

"It is a tremendous tragedy, not only for the families who lost their children but for the entire country," Putin said.