Russian girl, 14, shoots dead classmate, commits suicide
December 7, 2023 04:31 PM
A 14-year-old girl shot dead a classmate and injured five people before killing herself at a secondary school in the Russian city of Bryansk near the Ukraine border on Thursday.
School shootings are relatively rare in Russia, which has strict gun laws, but fatal attacks at educational facilities have become increasingly common in recent years.
The Kremlin and officials in Moscow have voiced growing concern after previous attacks, with President Vladimir Putin blaming the incidents as a US import.
"A 14-year-old girl brought a pump-action shotgun to school, which she used to shoot her classmates," Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement.
"As a result, two people died -- one of them the shooter -- and there are five wounded," it added.
Footage filmed by schoolchildren and shared by Russian state media showed pupils barricading themselves inside a classroom, stacking desks against a door.
The teen's motives were still being established in addition to how she got the weapon, authorities said, with the local governor calling the incident a "tragedy."
Authorities did not name the shooter, but said her victim was a female classmate.
The shooting took place in Bryansk's Gymnasium Number Five, a secondary school in the city's suburbs.
"The motives behind the crime and all the circumstances are being established," the Instigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said.
Russian news agencies reported that the girl's father had been taken in for questioning and that the family's apartment was searched.
- 'Irreparable loss' -
The governor of the Bryansk region, Alexander Bogomaz, called the shooting a "terrible tragedy."
He said the five wounded were minors and were taken to a local children's hospital.
"Two of them have light injuries. Three others have medium ones," he said.
"My sincere condolences to the parents of the girl who died at the hands of the girl shooter. This is an irreparable loss," he said.
Bogomaz said her family and the families of the injured will be given "all necessary assistance."
Bryansk is a city of some 370,000 people in southwest Russia.
The border Bryansk region -- including Bryansk itself -- has since the summer been targeted by regular Ukrainian drone attacks, and occasional shelling.
Russia has tightly controlled its school system since sending troops to Ukraine, making patriotism a priority and teaching children about its Ukraine offensive.
It has also tightened its already strict gun ownership laws following a series of school shootings between 2019 and 2021.
In western Russian city of Izhevsk in September last year, a gunman killed 18 people at a school.
In 2021, a 19-year-old shooter killed nine people in a school in Kazan, in Tatarstan. That same year, a teenager killed six people at a university in the Urals city of Perm.