Seventeen people were killed and 24 injured in a school shooting today in the Russian city of Izhevsk, 600 miles east of Moscow. The Kremlin called the shooting a terrorist attack.
A gunman entered School No. 88, which teaches the first to 11th grades, and killed 17 people, including 11 children, before killing himself. Videos from the scene that were broadcast on TV and posted to social media showed children frantically running through the halls of the school and emergency workers evacuating the wounded.
Authorities said the attacker, who was armed with two pistols, “was wearing a black top with Nazi symbols and a balaclava” and was not carrying any ID.
Russia’s top investigative body identified the gunman as Artem Kazantsev, a 34-year-old who had previously attended the school, according to a press statement. He had lived with his mother in the city. Alexander Brechalov, the region’s governor, said he had been registered with the local psychiatric clinic.
The details Russian authorities provided could not be independently confirmed.
The incident bore eerie connections to the 1999 shooting in Columbine, Colorado, in which 13 people were killed by two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Two braided cords attached to the pistols in today’s shooting bore the names “Eric” and “Dylan,” and the ammunition had been inscribed with the word “hate,” according to images released by local media.
Russian authorities have sought to crack down on what they call the “Columbine movement,” a decentralized group of gunmen that the prosecutor general recognized as a “terrorist” organization in February, calling it a “widely developed structure” that is “coordinated using the capabilities of the internet.”
The law enforcement bodies also connected two shootings last year to the movement. In May 2021, a gunman entered a school in Kazan and killed 9 people. In September of that year, an 18-year-old killed six people and injured 47 on a university campus in Perm, near the Ural Mountains.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia expressed his condolences through his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.
“President Putin deeply mourns the deaths of people, children at a school where there was a terrorist attack by a person, who apparently belongs to a neo-fascist group,” Peskov told reporters during a phone call. “The president wishes for the recovery of those injured as a result of this inhuman terrorist attack.”
The school shooting is believed to be the 13th mass killing in the past three years. Russia tightened gun laws after the shootings in Kazan and Perm. Those killings were carried out with legally obtainable weapons. It was not clear where the gunman in today’s shooting obtained the weapons.
Two of the adults killed were security guards, and the tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that there have been “chronic” issues in hiring security guards in the Udmurt Republic.
The shooting came on the same day a gunman opened fire at a Siberian military enlistment center, injuring a recruitment officer, as anger mounted over Putin’s plan to mobilize hundreds of thousands of civilians to bolster Russia’s struggling army in Ukraine.
There appeared to be no link, however, between the shooting at the school and the conflict in Ukraine.
Izhevsk, population 630,000, is the regional capital of the Udmurt Republic. Brechalov declared three days of mourning.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.