A gunman wearing “Nazi symbols and a balaclava” shot 17 people dead, including 11 children, in a rampage at a school in central Russia on Monday, officials say.
The attack at School No. 88 in Izhevsk, around 600 miles east of Moscow, also left a further 22 children and two adults wounded, according to the Associated Press. The shooter, who was reportedly armed with two weapons, killed himself after the massacre.
Russia’s Investigative Committee named the shooter as Artem Kazantsev, 34, a former student at the school. The committee also released a short video showing the gunman’s body lying on a classroom floor surrounded by overturned furniture. A red Swastika in a circle appears to have been drawn on the chest area of his black top.
The investigative committee, which is responsible for major crimes, added that the adults shot dead included teachers at the school and security guards. Authorities are now searching Kazantsev’s residence.
Speaking outside the school on Monday as medical workers rushed into the campus, regional governor Alexander Brechalov confirmed “casualties and wounded among children.” Early reports indicated many of the victims were as young as 7 years old.
Disturbing clips shared by local media show armed officers storming up the school’s stairwells as terrified students fled during the attack. Others show young children hiding in classrooms as shots ring out in the school.
One boy in seventh grade broke his leg after jumping from a third-floor window to escape the gunman, Russian media reported.
Two pistols found near the shooter’s body appearing in images published by local outlets had cords attached with the words Columbine, Dylan, and Eric—an apparent reference to the 1999 Columbine school massacre in Colorado in which Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people.
There have been at least 13 mass shootings in Russia over the last three years, including a school shooting in May 2021 that left nine people dead. The massacre in Kazan in western Russia, which also left a further 23 injured, was carried out by a former student.
A separate shooting rocked Russia on Monday, as a gunman shot a commander attempting to draft residents in the Irkutsk region of Siberia.
Over a dozen attacks on military enlistment offices across the country have been recorded since last Wednesday, when Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization of 300,000 new troops for his invasion of Ukraine, plunging the country into chaos.
Throughout the war in Ukraine, which began in February, Putin and other Russian officials have justified the bloody war on the grounds of “denazification.”