Six killed in Russian university shooting, gunman in hospital


A car of Russia's National Guard is seen at the scene after a gunman opened fire at the Perm State University in Perm, Russia September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Anna Vikhareva

MOSCOW (Reuters) -A student armed with a hunting rifle opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm on Monday, 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 1,300 km (800 miles) east of Moscow, landing heavily on the ground before running to safety.

"There were about 60 people in our 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," said a posting on a social media account attributed to him that was later taken down.

It indicated that 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 to those who meet specific requirements.

In May, a lone teenage gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan, 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 minimum age for buying firearms from 18 to 21 after the Kazan shooting, but the new law has yet to come into force.

(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy, Anton Zverev; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber/Tom Balmforth; Editing by Nick Macfie and Kevin Liffey)

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