An 18-year old student armed with a pump action shotgun killed at least six people and wounded dozens more in an attack on a university in Perm, Russia, according to the government investigative committee that handles major crimes.
Footage from state broadcaster RIA Novosti showed students fleeing university buildings in the city of Perm – 650 miles east of Moscow – by jumping from first floor windows to escape the shooter before security forces were able to kill or capture the suspect.
“The Chairman instructed the Main Investigation Department to investigate the criminal case initiated into the shooting at the University of Perm,” said a release from the Investigative Committee of Russia. “As a result of the crime, according to updated data, 6 people died. 28 victims sought medical help, some of them were hospitalised with injuries of varying severity.”
Initial reports by the Investigative Committee said that eight people were killed but later reports put the deaths at six in addition to the gunman, who was shot multiple times at the scene – social media posts from the scene appear to show the wounded suspect receiving treatment – and reportedly died in the hospital, according to local media reports.
Initially a spokesperson for the Investigative Committee told reporters that the suspect had been “liquidated,” but later reports said the suspect might be alive and in custody while being treated at a local hospital.
According to the New York Times, Aleksandr Khinshtein, a local MP, identified the gunman as an 18-year-old student in the university’s law faculty.
Russian social media and broadcasters have flooded the airwaves with footage of the suspect – apparently posted to Russian language social media prior to the attack – dressed all in black, covered with shotgun cartridges, masked and in a military-style helmet. VICE World News is withholding the name of the suspect pending an official announcement from the Investigative Committee.
Early media reports said the student purchased the shotgun legally earlier this year despite extremely tough gun ownership laws in Russia that bar most private weapon ownership except in very limited cases of hunting weapons, such as the shotgun used in the attack.