MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Up to nineteen people are dead, many of them students, after a student at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea gunned them down on the college grounds.
A simultaneous explosion was at first believed to be the cause of the deaths, and the incident was at first believed to have been a terrorist attack.
Russia’s Investigative Committee however now says it is treating the attack as a crime, one involving multiple murders.
The attack took place at a college in the Crimean city of Kerch on Wednesday. One of the biggest cities in Crimea, Kerch is on the Kerch Peninsula in the east of the Crimea.
A preliminary examination of the bodies of the victims has revealed that they died of gunshot wounds. There are contradictory rteports however, that they died as a result of the explosion.
According to RT, the Investigative Committee had determined that none of the deaths was caused by the explosion.
18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov.Roslyakov, a student at the college, has been named as the perpetrator. He was captured on closed-circuit television carrying a rifle.
Authorities believe that after he carried out the attack he then turned the gun on himself.
“The investigation believes that this young man shot the people in the college and then committed suicide,” the Committee said.
The Investigative Committee, according to RT, said 17 people were killed and dozens injured in the attack. Including the death of the gunman, the toll stands at 18.
Four military planes were ready to evacuate the wounded and military hospital facilities were standing by to receive injured victims if required, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted by the BBC as saying.