(Reuters) – A student armed with a hunting rifle opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm on Monday, killing at least eight people and wounding many others, law enforcement said.
Panicked students leapt from first-floor windows to escape Perm State University around 1,300 km (800 miles) east of Moscow, landing heavily on the ground before running to safety, media footage showed.
Students built barricades out of chairs to stop the shooter from entering their classrooms, they said.
The gunman was wounded after resisting arrest and was being treated in hospital, the Investigative Committee law enforcement agency said in a statement.
University spokesperson Natalia Pechishcheva had earlier said the shooter had been “liquidated” but later said he was in police custody. Footage from the scene showed his prone body on the ground outside.
“There were about 60 people in the classroom. We closed the door and barricaded it with chairs,” student Semyon Karyakin told Reuters.
The gunman was identified as a student at the university who obtained the hunting rifle in May, the Investigative Committee said.
Local media identified the gunman as an 18-year-old student who had earlier posted a social media photo of himself posing with a rifle, helmet and ammunition. That photo could not be independently verified.
“I’ve thought about this for a long time, it’s been years and I realised the time had come to do what I dreamt of,” said a social media account attributed to him that was later taken down.
He indicated his actions had nothing to do with politics or religion but were motivated by hatred.
The Kremlin said the gunman was likely disturbed, but declined to comment further saying it was a matter for the police.
Russia has strict restrictions on civilian firearm ownership, but some categories of guns are available for purchase for hunting, self-defence or sport, once would-be owners have passed tests and met other requirements.
The shootings were the latest in a series.
Earlier this year a lone teenage gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan, killing nine people and wounding many more.
That was Russia’s deadliest school shooting since 2018 when a student at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea killed 20 people before turning his gun on himself.
Russia raised the legal age for buying firearms from 18 to 21 after the Kazan shooting, but the new law has yet to come into force.