Six killed in Russian university shooting, gunman in hospital

Law enforcement officers work near the scene after a gunman opened fire at the Perm State University in Perm, Russia, on Sept 20, 2021.
Law enforcement officers work near the scene after a gunman opened fire at the Perm State University in Perm, Russia, on Sept 20, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - A student armed with a hunting rifle opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm on Monday (Sept 20), killing at least six people and wounding many others, investigators said.

Video shown on news websites showed panicked students leaping from first-floor windows to escape Perm State University, around 1,300km east of Moscow, landing heavily on the ground before running to safety.

"There were about 60 people in the classroom. We closed the door and barricaded it with chairs," student Semyon Karyakin told Reuters. 

The gunman was wounded after resisting arrest, and was being treated in hospital, the Investigative Committee law enforcement agency said in a statement. 

University spokesperson Natalia Pechishcheva earlier said the shooter had been "liquidated" but later said he was in police custody.

Footage from the scene showed his body lying on the ground outside the university building.

The Investigative Committee had initially said eight people had been killed. 

The gunman was identified as a student at the university who had obtained the hunting rifle in May, it said. 

Local media identified the gunman as an 18-year-old student who had earlier posted a photo of himself on social media, posing with a rifle, helmet and ammunition. That photo could not be independently verified.

"I’ve thought about this for a long time, it’s been years and I realised the time had come to do what I dreamt of," he said on a social media account attributed to him that was later taken down. 

He indicated his actions had nothing to do with politics or religion but were motivated by hatred. 

Russia has strict restrictions on civilian firearm ownership, but some categories of guns are available for purchase for hunting, self-defence or sport, once would-be owners have passed tests and met other requirements. 


People gathering outside after a gunman opened fire at Perm State University in Perm, Russia, on Sept 20, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

Earlier this year, a lone teenage gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan in May, killing nine people and wounding many more. 

That was Russia’s deadliest school shooting since 2018 when a student at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea killed 20 people before turning his gun on himself. 

Russia raised the legal age for buying firearms from 18 to 21 after the Kazan shooting, but the new law has yet to come into force.