June 16. 2021. 8:30

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Russian school shooting: Day of mourning announced to honour eight killed

People gather by the fence of School No. 175 following a shooting in Kazan, Russia. Photograph: Roman Kruchinin/AFP via Getty

Authorities in Russia have announced a day of mourning on Wednesday to honour the victims of a school shooting in Kazan that happened on Tuesday, claiming the lives of at least eight people.

Seven eighth-grade students and a teacher were killed in the incident, and 21 others were admitted to hospital, Russian officials said.

The 19-year-old gunman has been arrested, they said, and additional security measures were immediately put into place in all schools in Kazan, a city 700km east of Moscow.

Footage of the attack released by Russian media outlets showed students dressed in black and white running out of the school building. Another video depicted shattered windows, billowing smoke and sounds resembling gunshots in the background.

Dozens of ambulances lined up at the school’s entrance after the attack and police fenced off access to the building.

Russian media said while some students were able to escape, others were trapped inside during the ordeal. All students were eventually evacuated to nearby day-care centres and collected by their families.

Police investigators work at the scene of a shooting at School No. 175 in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan. Photograph: Press service of the president of republic of TatarstanAFP via Getty

Officials said the attacker has been arrested and police opened a criminal investigation into the shooting.

Rustam Minnikhanov, governor of the Tatarstan republic where Kazan is the capital, said: “The terrorist has been arrested, [he is] 19 years old. A firearm is registered in his name. Other accomplices haven’t been established, an investigation is under way.”

According to Tatarstan health officials, 21 people were taken to hospital with wounds after the attack, including 18 children, six of whom were in “severely grave condition”.

Russia’s state RIA Novosti news agency initially said 11 people had been killed in the Kazan shooting but later dropped that report.

Former student

While school shootings are relatively rare in Russia, there have been several violent attacks on schools in recent years, mostly by students.

Russian media said the gunman was a former student of the school who reportedly called himself “a god” on his account in the messaging app Telegram and promised to “kill a large amount of biomass” on the morning of the shooting.

The account was blocked by Telegram after the attack, independent news outlet Meduza said.

Russian legislator Alexander Khinshtein said on Telegram that the man received his gun licence less than two weeks ago. Mr Khinshtein also said the school did not have any security aside from a panic button.

Ambulances and police cars gather outside a school in the aftermath of a shooting in Kazan, Russia. Photograph: Anton Raykhshtat/EPA

Russian president Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded, ordering the government to give them all the necessary assistance.

Mr Putin also ordered Victor Zolotov, head of Russia’s national guard, to revise regulations on the types of weapons allowed for civilian use in light of the attack.

Russia’s emergency ministry sent a plane with doctors and medical equipment to Kazan, and two leading officials, health minister Mikhail Murashko and education minister Sergei Kravtsov, also headed to the region.

All lessons will be cancelled in Kazan schools on Wednesday for the city’s day of mourning. – Associated Press