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Nine dead in Russian school shooting. Attacker now in custody.

Source: Meduza
Yegor Aliev / TASS / Scanpix / LETA

Nine are dead and more than 20 are injured after a school shooting in the Russian city of Kazan on the morning of May 11. Though initial reports stated that two armed men entered the building and opened fire on students and teachers, police officials detained just one culprit and have denied reports of a second gunman. According to media reports, police units were also sent to the shooter’s apartment, where he allegedly planted a bomb. Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan has declared Wednesday, May 12, a day of mourning.

A shooting took place at School No. 175 in the Russian city of Kazan on the morning of Tuesday, May 11.

According to initial reports, two armed men entered the school and opened fire on the students and teachers. One of the shooters was later arrested at the entrance to the school.

The Telegram-based news outlet Baza identified the detained culprit as Ilnaz Galyaviev, a 19-year-old college student who graduated from the school four years ago. A few days before the shooting, Galyaviev created a Telegram channel, where he referred to himself as “god.” Prior to the school shooting, he wrote in the channel that he planned to “kill a huge quantity of bio-waste” and then commit suicide. Telegram blocked the channel after the attack.

Galyaviev legally owned a weapon, however, according to Russian lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein, he obtained the license for the firearm on April 28, less than two weeks ago. 

Photographs from the scene at Kazan’s School No. 175

A source from the school’s administration told the newswire Interfax that there were actually two shooters — allegedly, the second culprit barricaded himself on the building’s fourth floor, holding several people hostage. Sources told the pro-Kremlin outlet Mash, Interfax, and the state news agency TASS that the second gunman was killed by law enforcement. 

However, the regional head, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, said that the culprit acted alone and that “no other accomplices were identified.” Police officials also denied the reports of a second attacker.

A source close to the FSB told the news outlet RBC that a 41-year-old by the name of Ramil Mukhamedshin was detained as a suspected accomplice. Open Media also reported that Ilnaz Galyaviev’s father was taken in for interrogation. 

Minnikhanov confirmed that nine people were killed in the shooting — eight schoolchildren and one teacher — and more than 20 others were injured. However, a RIA Novosti source in the emergency services cited reports of 11 dead, including two schoolchildren who fell to their deaths after jumping out of a window. According to reports from TASS, 32 people were injured.

Update. Later in the day on Tuesday, Children’s Rights Commissioner Anna Kuznetsova said that Ilnaz Galyaviev detonated a bomb that he had planted in a locker room at the school. According to Kuznetsova, there weren’t any children in the locker room when the bomb went off. Earlier in the day, eyewitnesses and media reported that there had been an explosion during the attack. This information has yet to be confirmed officially.

The school building has been cordoned off and the students were evacuated to a neighboring kindergarten. After the shooting, police officials announced the introduction of a legal regime for a counter-terrorism operation. Classes were cancelled at all schools in Kazan for the remainder of the day on May 11. Law enforcement officials denied reports about similar incidents at other schools; two people who were spreading false reports about other school shootings have been detained.

Business Online reported that police units were also sent to an apartment on Kazan’s Tuganlyk Street. According to Baza, the detained shooter said that he had planted a bomb at his registered address. Residents of the building were evacuated from their apartments, though the threat of an explosion has yet to be confirmed. The emergency services were working at the scene at the time of writing.

The head of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, arrived at the school after the shooting. Russia’s Education Minister Sergey Kravtsov and Health Minister Mikhail Murashko also flew into Kazan from Moscow.

The regional authorities have announced plans to pay one million rubles ($13,500) in compensation to the families of each of the students killed during the shooting. Injured victims will receive between 200,000 and 400,000 rubles ($2,700–$5,400), depending on the severity of their injuries.

During his daily press conference on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that after hearing the FSB’s report on the shooting, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the head of the Russian National Guard to urgently prepare new regulations regarding the types of weapons authorized for civilian use. He also added that Putin expressed his condolences. 

May 12 has been declared a day of mourning in Tatarstan. 

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