Russian investigators seek Crimea teenage gunman's motive

Hugh Fox
October 20, 2018

Russian investigators identified the suspected killer, who they say also shot himself dead, as Vladislav Roslyakov, an 18-year-old student at a technical college in the Crimean city.

However, the Investigative Committee, the state body that investigates major crimes, said later that it was re-classifying the case from terrorism to mass murder. They said the attack had started with an explosion, followed by more blasts, and a hail of gunfire.

Residents of the Black Sea city of Kerch brought flowers and toys to a makeshift memorial outside the school on Thursday morning.

Sergie Aksyonov, the Kremlin-appointed leader of Crimea, said at a Moscow news conference Thursday that shooter Vyacheslav Roslyakov, who committed suicide, could not have carried out the mass shooting without help.

Authorities said they were working to establish the motive for the attack.

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"Then 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", he said, adding that part of the building collapsed. A computer taken from the home where Roslyakov lived with his parents revealed little, a Crimean official said on October 18.

The distrust of the official thesis remember that Crimea, annexed in march 2014 after a referendum deemed illegal by the worldwide community, is not a Russian region as the other.

"Canada strongly condemns this cowardly act of violence targeting young people", Freeland said in a statement, wishing a quick and full recovery to the injured victims of the attack at the Kerch Polytechnic College.

Weeping families and friends laid flowers and held vigils on Thursday as they struggled to understand why 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov gunned down students before killing himself in what local press dubbed "Russia's Columbine", a reference to a 1999 U.S. high school massacre.

President Vladimir Putin even sought to portray the attack as a "result of globalisation"- wider forces that were exporting bad practices into Russian Federation.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is now in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, said in televised comments that a "tragic event" had happened and that "as a result of an explosion of an explosive device, people died and many are injured".

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. According to the investigation, the security signal was received eight minutes after the explosion.

But Aksyonov said Roslyakov made the bomb himself and set it off while using a shotgun he recently acquired and 150 cartridges he bought just a few days ago to conduct his deadly shooting spree. Many others had wounds from an improvised explosive device that went off packed with shrapnel. "In those who have their organs ripped apart, we are finding metal balls in kidneys, intestines, in blood vessels".

She said Roslyakov did not have many friends and spent all his time indoors playing computer games.

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