A suspect in the Perm State University shooting spree who killed six people and injured another 24 was apprehended in Russia on Monday. According to police, he was a student at the school. No motive has been identified at this time.
The student, whose name has not been confirmed, was identified as an 18-year-old law student by Parliament member Aleksandr Khinshtein. According to The Independent, local media believes the student was Timur Bekmansurov. He posted a message on social media before the shooting that read: “I don’t know how many I can kill, but I will do everything to take as many with me as I can.”
A terrifying video of the university shooting circulated on social media, showing students jumping out of a two-story building in a panic to escape. The suspect wielded a pump-action shotgun. He was reportedly in all black clothing and a black helmet. Authorities were able to apprehend the shooter alive.
Perm University has a campus of around 13,000 students, located over 600 miles east of Moscow.
“One of the students told me that it was a shooting,” Perm University professor Ivan Pechishchev told BBC. “I heard pops, everyone began to scatter in different directions.”
The shooting lasted for “20 to 30 minutes” according to a student on the fourth floor of the chemistry building. He said that the police arrived within the first 10 minutes, with everyone in “shock and tears.”
Another student who witnessed the terrifying Perm State University shooting, Semyon Karyakin, said that “there were about 60 people in the classroom. We closed the door and barricaded it with chairs.”
The gunman, sent to the hospital after being injured in the process of apprehension, had purchased the hunting rifle in May, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee.
Konstantin Kalinin, the junior officer who restrained the suspect during the Perm State University shooting, told reporters that he had a rifle and a knife on him as well.
A local Russian newspaper reported that the school had an alarm system meant to warn them of potential danger, but the gunman had shot the security guard in charge of triggering the alert.
“We are talking about some deviations in the young man who committed this murder, and I think experts should deal with this and try to understand what was the reason for this tragedy,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Unfortunately, a tragedy has occurred, and it must be analyzed.”
Emergency medical supplies and doctors were sent over to the school in a helicopter following the Perm State University shooting, as Russian Health Ministry officials flew to the region to oversee treating the wounded. School shootings, which were previously unusual in Russia, have been shockingly more frequent in 2021.
After another school shooting in May earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered tougher legislation on gun ownership, raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 years old. This law, however, has yet to go into effect.
The school shooting in May, which took place at a university campus in the province of Kazan, killed seven students and two employees, as well as injuring 16 others.
“The citizen who started the shooting in Perm had a shotgun legally,” said Valery Gribakin, spokesman for the Russian national guard.
According to The New York Times, gun ownership is very strict in Russia, where applicants must pass several psychological examinations and a trial period before obtaining a rifle. Pistols are largely only given out to retired military officials, where the firearm is viewed as an award for their service.
“I believe that in order to prevent such crimes, there is a need to significantly tighten requirements for civilian gun ownership and strengthen control over civilian-owned firearms,” Vladimir Putin said after the attack in May. “Decisions on the matter should be justifiable and, of course, tough. All officials who issue gun ownership permits and provide the necessary documents to weapons owners should have a personal responsibility.”