14-year-old Russian girl shoots classmate, takes own life

A 14-year-old girl opened fire at a secondary school in Bryansk, near the Ukraine border, resulting in the tragic death of a classmate and her own suicide on Thursday.

The assailant, armed with a pump-action shotgun, unleashed a barrage of gunfire, leaving two dead and five injured, according to the statement by Russia’s Investigative Committee.

While school shootings are relatively rare in Russia due to stringent gun laws, incidents of violence within educational facilities have seen an alarming rise in recent years.

Disturbing footage captured by students and shared on Russian state media depicted pupils desperately barricading themselves in a classroom, using desks to block the door.

Authorities have yet to reveal the identity of the 14-year-old shooter, but confirmed her victim as a female classmate.

The motives behind the crime and the acquisition of the weapon are still under investigation.

The girl’s father has reportedly been taken in for questioning, and the family’s apartment searched.

In response to previous attacks, the Kremlin and officials in Moscow have expressed growing concern, with President Vladimir Putin attributing such incidents to what he describes as a U.S. import.

The governor of the Bryansk region, Alexander Bogomaz, termed the incident a “terrible tragedy” and offered sincere condolences to the grieving parents.

“This is an irreparable loss,” Bogomaz stated, vowing to provide all necessary assistance to the affected families.

The five wounded individuals, all minors, were rushed to a local children’s hospital, with varying degrees of injuries.

Bryansk, a city of approximately 370,000 people in southwest Russia, has been targeted by regular Ukrainian drone attacks and occasional shelling since the summer.

The region has witnessed increased security measures in response to geopolitical tensions, particularly following Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.

In recent years, Russia has reinforced its strict gun ownership laws in the aftermath of several high-profile school shootings.

In September of the previous year, a gunman in the western city of Izhevsk claimed the lives of 18 people, while in 2021, a 19-year-old shooter in Kazan, Tatarstan, killed nine at a school.

Another tragic incident occurred in the Urals city of Perm, where a teenager took six lives at a university.