Kremlin Calls School Shooting 'Terrorist Act'

Gunman identified as former student Artem Kazantsev
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2022 1:50 PM CDT
Russian School Shooter Was Former Student
In this handout image taken from video released by the Russian Investigative Committee, ammunition is seen on a table at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.   (Russian Investigative Committee via AP)

The death toll in the school shooting in central Russia Monday has risen to 15, including 11 children, and authorities have identified the gunman as a former student. Russia's Investigative Committee says 34-year-old Artem Kazantsev killed two security guards before opening fire on students at School Number 88 in Izhevsk, a city around 600 miles east of Moscow. Investigators say they are probing Kazantsev's possible neo-Nazi links, reports Reuters. Kazantsev killed himself after the attack, authorities say. Investigators released a video showing his body in a classroom. He was dressed all in black, with a red swastika drawn on his T-shirt.

Alexander Brechalov, governor of Udmurtia region, said Kazantsev was registered as a patient at a psychiatric facility, the AP reports. Education Minister Sergey Kravtsov said the man had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to Russia's TASS news agency. The school has students from grades 1 through 11. Authorities say 24 people, including 22 children, were wounded in the attack. "President Putin deeply mourns deaths of people and children in the school, where a terrorist act took place," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

This is the latest in a series of school shootings in Russia involving either a graduate or a current student. "The gunman was dressed in black and had inscribed the word 'hate' on his weapons—a bleak echo of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in the US," says BBC correspondent Sergei Goryashko. He says previous attackers used easily obtained hunting rifles, but gun laws were tightened after two school shootings in 2021 and Kazantsev apparently used pistols bought on the black market. (After a mass shooting at a college in Russian-occupied Crimea in 2018, Putin blamed "globalization.")

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.