During a school shooting in the Russian city of Izhevsk on Monday, September 26th, at least 15 people, including 11 children, died. A 34-year-old gunman armed with two handguns shot a security guard to gain access to the school, before going on a killing spree that killed 14 and injured another 24 people in total before committing suicide. The gunman was an alumnus of the school.
According to investigators, the gunman wore a black shirt with Nazi insignia. After identifying the perpetrator, investigators found evidence of the gunman’s “neo-fascist views and Nazi ideology” in his residence. Unconfirmed rumors claimed that the attacker had the names of the gunmen of the Columbine massacre engraved in his guns.
Later in the afternoon, it was found that the attacker had previously been treated in a mental hospital, according to news agency TASS. In the evening the Russian Education Minister Sergey Kravtsov told media that the gunman “was earlier diagnosed with schizophrenia.”
The Kremlin released an official statement by spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who quotes President Vladimir Putin as offering his condolences to the victims of the attack: “The president deeply sympathizes with all those who lost their loved ones, their children in this tragedy, and wishes recovery to those who were injured as a result of this inhuman terrorist act.”
This wasn’t the only shooting of the day in Russia though. In Ust-Ilimsk, in the Irkutsk region in Siberia, a young man fired rounds at a military enlistment office. The shooter severely injured the draft board director during the incident, and was detained right away. According to reports, the shooter was to be mobilized that day and is quoted to have said “we’ll all go home now” before opening fire.
While rather uncommon in the past, recent years have seen a rise in mass shootings in Russia, which authorities feared might be caused by copycat criminals imitating similar massacres at U.S. schools. A shooting in Kazan in May 2021 cost the lives of seven children, and 20 people died in an attack at a college in Crimea in October of the same year. Following the shooting in Kazan, gun laws in Russia were tightened, but Dmitry Peskov announced that the efficiency of these laws will undergo scrutiny after these latest events.