Gunman kills 15 people in attack at Russian school

Eleven children among the dead in mass shooting in central city of Izhevsk

A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia on Monday, killing 15 people including 11 children and hurting 24 others before shooting himself dead, authorities said.

The shooting took place at School Number 88 in Izhevsk, a city 1,000km east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region.

Russia’s investigative committee, which handles major crimes, identified the gunman as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the same school, and said he was wearing a black T-shirt bearing “Nazi symbols”.

No details about his motives have been released.


The governor of Udmurtia, Alexander Brechalov, said the gunman, who he said was registered as a patient at a psychiatric facility, killed himself after the attack.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the shooting as “a terrorist act” and said Russian president Vladimir Putin had 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,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Monday.

The school educates children between from ages six to 17.

It was evacuated and the area around it cordoned off, the governor said.

Russia’s National Guard said Kazantsev used two non-lethal handguns adapted to fire real bullets.

A criminal invesigation has been launched on charges of multiple murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Izhevsk, a city of 640,000, is the regional capital of the Udmurt Republic and is located west of the Ural mountains in central Russia.

There appeared to be no link between the shooting at the school and the conflict in Ukraine. Mr Brechalov, the regional governor, declared three days of mourning.

In the past three years, there have been at least 13 mass shootings in Russia.

In May 2021, a teenage gunman killed seven children and two adults in the city of Kazan. In September last year, a student armed with a hunting rifle shot dead at least six people at a university in the Urals city of Perm. Media footage from the scene showed students jumping from first-floor windows to escape the building, landing heavily on the ground before running to safety.

In April 2022, an armed man killed two children and a teacher at a kindergarten in the central Ulyanovsk region before taking his own life.

In 2018, an 18-year-old student killed 20 people, mostly fellow pupils, in a mass shooting at a college in Russian-occupied Crimea, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014. Vladislav Roslyakov killed 15 fellow students and five staff in a gun and bomb attack on Wednesday at the technical college that he attended in the town of Kerch, before killing himself.

Mr Putin blamed globalisation and the internet for the mass shooting. “It all began with well-known, tragic events at schools in the United States. Young people with unstable minds somehow create false heroes for themselves,” he said at the time.

“It means that we’re all reacting badly to changing conditions in the world. We are not creating the necessary interesting and healthy content for young people. They grasp some surrogate for heroism and it leads to tragedies of this kind.” AP/Agencies