0320 GMT March 26, 2019
Eighteen-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov turned up at the college in the city of Kerch on Wednesday afternoon carrying a firearm and then began shooting, investigators said. His body was later found in the college with what they said were self-inflicted gunshot wounds, Reuters reported.
Many of the victims from Wednesday’s attacks were teenage students who suffered shrapnel and bullet wounds.
Pupils and staff described scenes of mayhem as panicked pupils tried to flee the building. They said the attack had started with an explosion, followed by more blasts, and a hail of gunfire.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting in the southern Russian resort of Sochi with his Egyptian counterpart, declared a moment’s silence for the victims.
“This is a clearly a crime,” he said. “The motives will be carefully investigated.”
Soon after the attack, Russian officials said they were investigating the possibility that it was terrorism. Troops with armored personnel carriers were sent to the scene. Local parents were told to collect their children from the city’s schools and kindergartens for their safety.
However, the Investigative Committee, the state body that investigates major crimes, said later that it was reclassifying the case from terrorism to mass murder.
Officials had previously given the death toll as 18, but the committee revised that to 17. An employee at Kerch’s hospital said dozens of people were being treated for their injuries in the emergency room and in the operating theater.