A high-school student opened fire in a Russian school on Monday, killing one teacher and one police officer and holding more than 20 students hostage before being stopped by officials.
According to RT.com the student, who was due to graduate with honors, targeted a geography teacher following a conflict between the two. He threatened the school's security guard with a rifle and hunting gun, licensed to his father, and killed the teacher before police arrived on the scene, according to the Russian news site. The student killed one officer and injured at least one other before he was captured by law enforcement. He fired at least 11 shots in total.
Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the suspect would be charged with homicide, endangering the life of a law enforcement officer and hostage-taking. He added that the suspect will be evaluated by a psychiatrist, saying: "He is being questioned by investigators with experts involved. The reasons why the teenager committed this crime are being determined." He also said the suspect may have suffered an "emotional breakdown."
According to officials all hostages were released and no students were hurt, although some had to wait outside in -9 degree weather, improperly dressed for the cold, after they were evacuated from the building.
RT.com reports on the scene:
A sixth-grade student who was in the school's building at the time of the incident told Kommersant FM radio that their PE teacher locked them inside the gym during the hostage-taking, and wouldn't let them go until the incident was over. Lifenews TV channel reported that the phone connection with the school had been lost, and that shocked parents were gathering outside the school... The student's father helped to detain his son, Interfax news agency reported, citing a source in law enforcement agencies.
A video posted online shows a police helicopter landing on the school's yard as teachers and students run from the building. Students are currently being questioned by police officials on the attack.
Though Russia has been ramping up security efforts ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics, which will begin on February 7, school shootings are a rarity in the country. Reuters notes that Russian media usually portrays school shootings as an American affliction, which isn't hard given their frequent nature.
However, one horrific incident stands out as the worst to ever take place at school, was actually a terrorist attack carried out by Russian separatists. The Beslan attack left 334 people dead, more than half of them children, after security forces launched a counterattack on the school in September 2004. Since then, each Russian school is guarded by an armed guard.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.