Sept. 21 (UPI) — At least six people were killed and more than two dozen were injured at a university campus in central Russia on Monday after authorities say a gunman opened fire and targeted victims at random.
The shooting occurred at Perm State University in Perm Krai, about 900 miles northeast of Moscow. Initial reports put the death toll at eight, but Russia’s Investigative Committee lowered the figure to six later in the day, with 28 people injured.
Officials said the gunman began firing at students initially and then targeted police officers when they arrived.
The shooter was ultimately arrested after a gunfight with police. A member of Russia’s Parliament identified the shooter as 18-year-old Timur Bekmansurov, a law student at the university.
The New York Times reported that a social media posted attributed to Bekmansurov was posted ahead of the attack, indicating a fascination with violence.
Russia’s health ministry said most of the injured received gunshot wounds.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent Moscow’s health and education ministers to the scene to aid the victims and their families, state-run Tass reported. Officials also sent emergency medical personnel.
Putin offered condolences to victims and their families.
“I am well aware that no words can drown out the grief of loss, the pain of this loss, especially when we are talking about young people who only began their life,” he said.
“This is a huge tragedy not only for the families who lost their children, but for the entire country.”
Scores of students and staff at the university took refuge in campus buildings and dormitories during the assault. Some were captured on video and posted to social media.