Crimea college tragedy: What we know so far


Thirteen people were killed and 50 more wounded, majority teenagers, after a blast tore into a college canteen in Russian-annexed Crimea in what Moscow called a "terrorist" attack.

"A strong explosion went off, but thank God, I was already outside and saw our guys being thrown out of the windows by the explosive wave", said one student.

In this image made from video, showing the scene as emergency services load an injured person onto a truck, in Kerch, Crimea, Oct. 17, 2018.

Aksyonov said that the shooter, identified as Vyacheslav Roslyakov, was alone in the school but added that authorities believe that there may have been someone who was helping him plot the attack.

Russian television reported that his mother works as an orderly at one of the hospitals that treated victims.

While such school shootings are rare in Ukraine and Russian Federation, which illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, AP reported that the bloodbath raised questions about school security, as the Kerch school had only a front desk with no security guards.

After the findings, the investigators reclassified the criminal case from a "terror attack" to a case of "the murder of two or more people". More than 40 others were injured in the attack.

Aksyonov's statement follows Russian officials' report that an explosive device ripped through the college in Kerch in eastern Crimea in a suspected terrorist attack. Witnesses, however, reported that victims were being killed by a gunman.

In a Facebook post, Russian journalist Viktoria Ivleva, who has worked for Kremlin-critical publications, commented: "I can't help but think that there hasn't been one single terrorist attack with victims in Ukraine since 1991".

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the attack on a college in Crimea was a tragedy and offered condolences to the victims' families. "They then ran about throwing some kind of explosives around, and then ran around the second floor with guns, opened the office doors, and killed anyone they could find". Many others had wounds from an improvised explosive device that went off packed with shrapnel.

Gun laws are strict in Russian Federation and civilians are permitted only to own hunting rifles and smoothbore shotguns, and have to undergo background checks. Roslyakov had only recently received a permit to own a shotgun and bought 150 cartridges just a few days ago, according to local officials.

"The point is to find out who was coaching him for this crime", the prime minister said.

"A shooting took place after the explosion".

The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted student Semyon Gavrilov as saying he fell asleep during a lecture and woke up to the sound of shooting.

He said police arrived about 10 minutes later to evacuate people and he saw dead bodies on the floor and charred walls.

A source in the emergency services told RIA Novosti state news agency that Roslyakov had legally acquired a gun licence.

In April, a school student stabbed a teacher and a fellow student in the Urals Mountains and then set fire to a classroom. In Aksenov's words, the killer shot himself dead. Kerch is the point on the peninsula where a bridge linking Crimea to Russian Federation makes landfall on the Crimean side.