At least 19 people have been reported dead after a mass shooting and an explosion that happened at a college in Crimea. It is reported that an 18-year old student, Vladislav Roslyakov, studying at the vocational school is the one that carried out the attack. According to Russian authorities, the student carrying out the attack shot himself dead on the spot.
The incident was first treated as a possible terror attack but Russian authorities are now taking it as a case of mass murder. According to investigations, all the victims of the attack died from gunshot wounds and not from the explosion, as it had earlier been reported.
Other than the 19 victims believed to have died on the spot, over 40 others, majority of who are teenagers, are believed to have sustained serious injuries following the violence. Before investigations were launched into the matter, it was believed that the blast was as a result of a gas explosion but it was later determined that it was as a result of a shrapnel-filled improvised explosive device that went off inside the school cafeteria.
Following the attack, a state of emergency has been declared in Crimea as schools and nurseries within the area are evacuated. City’s notorious Kerch Bridge has also been well guarded by security officers. This is the road that is believed to link Russia and Crimea and is what has been strengthening Russia’s hold over Crimea.
The regional leader in Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, together with the health minister in Russia Veronika Skvortsova have gone to Kerch to offer their support to the injured persons. According to some students and staff who had hidden in the classrooms during the attack, the riot went on for about 15 minutes.
The school director, Olga Grebennikova, said that the incident was a case of a mad gunman, who ran around the school shooting anyone in sight, leaving a bloody scene behind. Bodies of the injured and the dead were everywhere, and an explosion that caused great damage to the hall was then heard.