At least 17 people, mostly teenagers, were killed and 50 others were wounded Wednesday when a student went on a shooting rampage at his high school in Russian-annexed Crimea, Russian authorities said.
Russian investigators identified the gunman as 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov. They said he fatally shot himself after the attack in Kerch, a city in eastern Crimea. Russia seized the Crimea region from Ukraine four years ago.
Initial reports described the attack as involving explosives, with possibly terrorist motives.
Russian investigators opened a terrorism probe into the attack, but later changed it to a murder case.
“A preliminary examination of the dead shows they suffered from gunshot wounds,” Russia’s investigative committee said in a statement. “The majority of them are teenagers.”
There were conflicting reports about what took place. Russia’s anti-terrorism committee initially said an explosive device was to blame for the attack on the vocational high school, attended by adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19. It said a bomb was planted in the cafeteria.
President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of victims. “It is clear that a crime took place. The motives and scenarios of this tragedy are being studied,” he said at a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi in the Black Sea city of Sochi. He then asked for a moment’s silence.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Amie Ferris-Rotman