Crimea Attack in Kerch

20 dead and over 50 injured in attack against college in Crimea

Sahithi Jammulamadaka , Editor-in-Chief

   Twenty people, majority college student are confirmed dead after a student went on a shooting spree and detonated a bomb at a college in Crimea, state-run Russian news agency TASS reported Thursday. The suspected perpetrator who Russian officials have identified as Vladislav Roslyakov shot himself at the scene. While Crimean authorities searched for clues that might help explain why a teenager gunned down 20 people at his vocational school before killing himself, the stunned city of Kerch prepared to say farewell to the victims.

   Thousands of residents were expected to attend the funerals of most of the victims Friday. Teachers and classmates have described the shooter as a shy person with few friends. A computer taken from the home where Roslyakov lived with his parents revealed little, a Crimean official said Thursday.“When they did a search and saw the computer, all information, messages and such had been deleted,” Crimean human rights ombudswoman Lyudmila Lubina was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Tass.

   Roslyakov was initially described as the only person involved in the carnage at the school. But Sergei Aksyonov, the Kremlin-appointed head of Crimea, told Russian news agencies Thursday it’s still possible the student had help.“The point is to find out who was coaching him for this crime,” Aksyonov said. “He was acting on his own here, we know that. But this scoundrel could not have prepared this attack on his own, in my opinion, and according to my colleagues.”Residents brought flowers and toys to a makeshift memorial outside the school on Thursday morning. Many were in tears, struggling to speak. The Kerch attack was by far the deadliest carried out by a student in Russia, raising questions about school security. The vocational school had a front desk, but no security guards. Russia’s National Guard said Thursday it has now deployed officers and riot police to all schools and colleges in Kerch.

   President Vladimir Putin has blamed the shooting on globalization, forces that are exporting bad practices into Russia.  He has also said that the reason for these types of attacks is because of adults who fail to give alternatives to violence.“Young people with a fragile mental state are creating false heroes for themselves,” he said. “That means that all of us, not only in Russia but in the world, on the whole, are reacting poorly to the fast-changing realities.” Russia has fairly harsh gun laws, civilians can only own hunting rifles and smoothbore shotguns and must undergo significant background checks. Roslyakov had recently gotten his permit and bought a 150 just a few days ago, local officials said. When asked about if stricter gun laws could be imposed the government said that they would wait for the results from the investigation.