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Shooting at Russian university leaves 6 dead, 28 hurt

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Police officers guard an area in front of the Perm State University in Perm, about 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. A gunman opened fire in a university in the Russian city of Perm on Monday morning, leaving at least eight people dead and others wounded, according to Russia's Investigative Committee.
Police officers guard an area in front of the Perm State University in Perm, about 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. A gunman opened fire in a university in the Russian city of Perm on Monday morning, leaving at least eight people dead and others wounded, according to Russia's Investigative Committee. (AP Photo) Photo Gallery

MOSCOW — A student opened fire Monday at a university in Russia, leaving six people dead and 28 hurt, before being shot by police and detained, officials said.

Beyond saying that he was a student, authorities offered no further information on his identity or possible motive.

During the attack, students and staff at Perm State University locked themselves in rooms, and video posted on Russian news sites showed some students jumping out of second-story windows.

In some footage, a black-clad helmeted figure could be seen striding on a campus sidewalk cradling a long-barreled weapon. Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s top body for criminal probes, said the gunman fired a smoothbore hunting weapon. That could indicate he used a shotgun.

The university, which has 12,000 students, said about 3,000 people were on campus at the time of the shooting. The school is in Perm, a city 700 miles east of Moscow with a population of about 1 million.

The Investigative Committee said six people were killed, revising down its earlier figure of eight dead. No explanation was given for the change. It said 28 people were injured and some of them were hospitalized. The Health Ministry said 19 of them were shot; it was not clear how the others were injured.

In a video released by the Interior Ministry, a witness whose name was not given said he saw the man outside after shooting two people and that he appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest.

A traffic police unit was the first to reach the scene, and the suspect opened fire on them, according to the Interior Ministry. He was wounded when police returned fire and then was disarmed. The gunman also was armed with a knife, the ministry said.

One traffic officer said people were rushing out of the university building as gunshots were heard.

“I entered the building and saw an armed young man walking down the stairs. I shouted at him ‘Drop it!’” That’s when he pointed the gun at me and fired. At that point I used my gun,” officer Konstantin Kalinin said in the ministry video.

Although firearms laws are strict in Russia, many people obtain permits for hunting. News reports cited officials as saying the suspect had a permit for a pump-action shotgun, although it was not clear if it was for the weapon used.

School shootings are infrequent in Russia, but the Perm attack was the third in recent years. In May, a gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan, killing seven students and two teachers with a registered weapon. A student at a college in Russia-annexed Crimea killed 20 students and himself in 2018.

After the Kazan shooting, President Vladimir Putin called on the national guard to tighten gun regulations. Russia then passed a law raising the minimum purchase age from 18 to 21.

The Russian leader offered his condolences on Monday.

“It is a tremendous tragedy, not only for the families who lost their children but for the entire country,” Putin said.

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