Schoolgirl kills herself after shooting fellow pupil dead in Russia

The 14-year-old opened fire with a pump-action shotgun in the city of Bryansk

Emergency vehicles outside Gymnasium Number 5 school following a shooting in which two people were killed, in Bryansk. AFP
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A 14-year-old schoolgirl shot a fellow pupil dead in the Russian city of Bryansk on Thursday and wounded several others before killing herself.

The shooting reportedly occurred during a science lesson at a school called Gymnasium Number 5, when the girl opened fire using her father's shotgun.

The family's apartment was searched and the girl's father has been taken in for questioning, Russian news agencies reported.

Footage filmed by schoolchildren, which was shared by Russian state media, showed pupils barricading themselves inside a classroom, stacking desks against a door.

Authorities have not named the shooter, but said her victim was a female classmate.

The school is located outside the centre of Bryansk, a city near the Ukrainian border that has been subjected to occasional shelling and drone attacks.

"According to preliminary investigation data, a 14-year-old girl brought a pump-action shotgun to school, from which she fired shots at her classmates," Russia's Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said.

"As a result of the incident, two people were killed (one of them was the shooter), five were injured and have now been taken to a medical facility."

Regional governor Alexander Bogomaz called it a "terrible tragedy". He said the five people wounded were all children who suffered mild or moderate injuries.

"Two of them have light injuries. Three others have medium ones," he said.

"My sincere condolences to the parents of the girl who died at the hands of the girl shooter. This is an irreparable loss.

"Together with law enforcement agencies, we are determining the circumstances under which the student was able to obtain and bring a weapon to school," he added.

Guns are normally tightly controlled in Russia, but Moscow has encouraged the formation of self-defence units in Bryansk due to the cross-border attacks in the course of the war with Ukraine.

Police are working to establish the motive behind the incident.

"The motives behind the crime and all the circumstances are being established," the Investigative Committee said.

School shootings are relatively rare in Russia, but have become more common in recent years.

In 2018, an 18-year-old student killed 20 people, mostly fellow pupils, in a mass shooting at a college in Russian-occupied Crimea, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014.

In September last year, a gunman with a swastika on his T-shirt killed 15 people, including 11 children, and wounded 24 at a school in Izhevsk where he had once been a pupil, and then committed suicide.

Updated: December 07, 2023, 10:39 AM