Teenager kills 19 in Crimea college shooting: Russian officials


At least 18 people were killed - majority teenagers - and about 50 more injured following a bombing in Russian-annexed Crimea, according to Russia. The bloodbath raised questions about school security in the country; the Kerch Polytechnic College had only a front desk with no security guards.

Russia's Investigative Committee named the shooter as 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov, a student at the college.

The blast was initially thought to have been caused by a gas canister but Russia's anti-terror agency, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC), said an "unknown explosive device" was used.

Medics load an injured person onto an ambulance following a school shooting, in Kerch, Crimea, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

"But there is a place for real heroism in today's life", he said.

At a news conference in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said investigators were working to determine a motive for the attack.

The blast happened at around noon at the school, which is located on a peninsula between the Sea of Above and the Black Sea. Kerch is the point on the peninsula where a bridge linking Crimea to Russian Federation makes landfall on the Crimean side. Military units were deployed near the college to help emergency agencies.

Emergency services carry an injured victim of a blast at a college in the port city of Kerch, Crimea in this still image taken from a video on October 17, 2018. "The Federal Security Service of Russian Federation is investigating at the crime scene, searching for more explosive devices", Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said, revealing no more details.

"He was walking around and shooting students and teachers in cold blood", Sergei Aksyonov, the regional leader in Crimea, declared, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

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"It's a mass killing committed by one scumbag", Aksyonov said earlier on state television. He said he looked out and saw a young man with a rifle shooting at people.

"I locked the door, hoping he wouldn't hear me", Gavrilov told the paper. Russia's Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation into what it said was an act of terrorism.

"There are bodies everywhere, children's bodies everywhere", the school's director, Olga Grebennikova, told Crimean news outlets, Reuters reported.

A woman prays near a memorial to the people killed during an attack in the vocational college in Kerch, Crimea. In January, two pupils in the city of Perm near the Ural mountains attacked a teacher and her fourth-grade class with knives.

Russia's gun laws are far stricter than they are in the United States, which is already a deterrence.

Another witness who gave his name as Sergei and who worked nearby said in a video on the Kerch.tv website that he heard "a bang and shots".

"They are children and staff", the witness said.

"Some people have feet, lower legs missing", she said.

The head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, and Russia's health minister, have headed to the area.