Just days before the Winter Olympics are due to start a gunman has left two adults dead after a shooting incident at a school in northern Moscow. According to reports, the shooter who has been identified as Sergei Gordeyev entered the school premises carrying weapons and went into a biology classroom. He got past a security guard who then raised the alarm. Inside the classroom the gunman held about 20 students and a teacher hostage. On his way, the gunman injured a teacher who later succumbed to his injuries.
Sergei Gordeyev has been identified as a student of school No. 263 where the incident took place. He has been described as having an excellent record thus far. The shooting started when the police entered the building but all the students have been released and the gunman arrested.
State news agency RIA Novosti has reported that it is unclear what motivated the attack. Gordeyev is an “A” student who reportedly had some problems with the geography teacher. This teacher however is not among those who were taken hostage or exposed to gun fire. Authorities are now searching the student’s house in an attempt to solve the puzzle.
The Moscow shooter, who left two people dead, entered the school carrying two rifles that were legally owned by his father. After shooting the geography teacher, he fired at police officers who responded to the situation, injuring one and killing another in the process. The turning point came when the student’s father was called to the school to talk to his son. The boy then released the hostages and all the people in the building were evacuated. The shooter was then arrested and detained by the law enforcement authorities.
Commenting on the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as “tragic.” The Mayor Vladimir Kolokoltsev stated the need for a scrutiny of the school’s security processes and went on to say that perhaps a greater focus on the arts would reduce such incidents. According to the mayor, if a new generation is raised with better “artistic taste” and is able to appreciate theater, drama and music, this would possibly reduce violent tendencies in young people.
Gun related violence which is increasingly becoming a frequent happening in other parts of the world, is a rare and isolated occurrence in Russia. This school shooting in Moscow which has left two people dead is all the more unsettling as it comes despite heightened and tightened security measures put in place across the city in honor of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games next week. The country is also in a state of high alert over the possible threat of violence by Islamic militants. Ivan Fodokin, a student at the school said, “We were in the stairwell when we heard the man outside yelling to the police officer to open the door, and then we heard shooting.” The middle of the day incident sent teachers and students running in blind panic into the subzero cold outside, even as ambulances and police personnel arrived on the scene.
By Grace Stephen