At least 8 dead in Russian university shooting

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MOSCOW (AFP) – A student opened fire on a university campus in central Russia on Monday, killing at least eight people, investigators said in the second mass school shooting this year.

Russia’s investigative committee, which is investigating major crimes, said several people were also injured in the attack on Perm State University and the suspect was injured while in detention.

Investigators previously said five people were killed and six others injured.

Russia has relatively few school shootings due to the normally tight security in educational institutions and the difficulty of purchasing firearms legally, although it is possible to register shotguns.

Videos circulating on social media showed students throwing personal effects from windows of campus buildings before jumping to flee the shooter.

State media released amateur footage believed to have been taken during the attack, showing an individual dressed in black tactical clothing, including a helmet, carrying a gun and walking around campus.

The last such deadly attack took place in May 2021, when a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at his old school in Kazan, central Russia, killing nine people.

Investigators said the man suffered from a brain disorder. But he was deemed fit to receive a license for the semi-automatic shotgun he used in the attack.

On the day of the attack – one of the worst in recent Russian history – Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a review of gun control laws.

In November 2019, a 19-year-old student from the Far Eastern town of Blagoveshchensk opened fire on his college, killing a classmate and injuring three others before shooting and committing suicide.

In October 2018, another armed teenager killed 20 people at a technical college in Kerch in Crimea, the peninsula that Russia annexed to Ukraine in 2014.

He was shown in camera footage wearing a T-shirt similar to that of Eric Harris, one of the killers in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in the United States that left 13 dead.

The Crimean shooter was able to legally obtain a firearms license after receiving marksmanship training and being examined by a psychiatrist.

Russia’s FSB security service says it has prevented dozens of armed attacks on schools in recent years.

In February 2020, the FSB said it had arrested two teenagers on suspicion of instigating an attack on a school in the city of Saratov with homemade weapons and explosives.

Authorities have claimed that young Russians are increasingly exposed to negative influences online, especially from the West.

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