Eight people were killed in a shooting at a university in the Russian city of Perm today, according to the Russian Investigative Committee, a kind of prosecutor’s office. At least ten were said to be injured.
Eyewitnesses said a man in military uniform with a rifle opened fire at people in the building indiscriminately. The police eventually overpowered him.
Video footage shows students jumping in panic from the windows of the building during the shooting and running to avoid the gunman.
According to local media, the gunman is an 18-year-old student who was a student at university. Shortly before the shooting, he has posted a message on social media asking readers not to consider the incident a ‘terrorist attack’. “I was not a member of an extremist organization. I am not religious and apolitical,” said the gunman, who thought he would not survive the shooting himself. “Nobody knew what I was going to do. I did all this myself.”
His motive is still unclear, although he did say in his message that he was “filled with hatred” and had been preparing for some time, including by purchasing weapons.
Compared to the United States, such shootings are relatively rare in Russia, where there are strict rules on gun ownership. However, the number of incidents has increased in recent years. Earlier this year, seven students and two teachers were killed in a shooting at a secondary school in Kazan.
The worst massacre occurred in 2018 at a polytechnic institute in Kerch on the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula. Then, 21 people were killed when a student detonated a bomb there and then opened fire.