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Nineteen People Killed In Crimean School Massacre - Eighteen Year Old Student Vladislav Roslyakov Suspect
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Nineteen People Killed In Crimean School Massacre - Eighteen Year Old Student Vladislav Roslyakov Suspect

Source: npr.org

Suspect is eighteen year old Vladislav Roslyakov, who was a studen at the school.

A student went on a shooting rampage and then killed himself at a technical school in Crimea, which also was hit by an explosion, Russian authorities said Wednesday.

At least 17 people were killed and 40 injured in the gunfire and the blast, which officials told Reuters went off in the school cafeteria.

The suspect was identified as 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov, a fourth-year student at the school, according to a spokeswoman for Russia's Investigative Committee.

"The suspected attacker shot himself," Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov was quoted as saying by the Russian News Agency TASS, adding that Roslyakov was from the area. "His body was found in the library on the second floor."

A spokesman for the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said bomb technicians were examining an explosive device found at the scene.

It was not immediately clear whether the casualties were from gunshots or the blast. Many of the victims were teenage students at the school, the Associated Press reported. The attack reportedly began with an explosion, followed by additional blasts and then gunfire, according to Reuters.

"There are bodies everywhere, children's bodies everywhere," the school's director, Olga Grebennikova, told Crimean news outlets, Reuters reported. "It was a real act of terrorism. They burst in five or 10 minutes after I'd left. They blew up everything in the hall, glass was flying."

At a news conference in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said investigators were working to determine a motive for the attack.

"The motives and theories of this tragedy are thoroughly investigated," Putin said. "The public will be informed about the results of this effort by the law enforcement agencies and special services."

As NPR's Lucian Kim reports from Moscow:

"Putin, who was meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, held a moment of silence and expressed his condolences to the families of victims.

"School shootings are rare in the former Soviet Union due to tough gun laws, but Crimea became heavily militarized after Russia seized the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

"Russia annexed Crimea after occupying it and holding a referendum that few countries have recognized."

Meet Vladislav Roslyakov, the man behind Crimea's college massacre

On October 17, a student at Kerch Polytechnic College in eastern Crimea murdered more than a dozen of his fellow classmates. Almost nothing is known about him, so far.

The armed individual filmed by surveillance cameras at Kerch Polytechnic College during Wednesday’s mass murder is named Vladislav Roslyakov. He is apparently the one who killed at least 19 students and instructors, injuring dozens more.

Eighteen years old, Roslyakov was a senior at Kerch Polytechnic College, enrolling at the school in 2015, according to Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee.

Speaking to the magazine RBC on the condition of anonymity, a friend saidRoslyakov “really hated the college because of its evil teachers, and he hinted that he would get back at them.” “He never showed any signs of aggression, he was a quiet young man who never had any problems [with the police], and he was getting a stipend,” Sergey Aksyonov, the head of Crimea’s local government, told the television network Rossiya 24.

Most of what we know, so far, about Roslyakov comes from the tabloid Mash, which says he was a “shy young man who spoke to almost no one and who long ago deleted all his social media accounts.” Apparently, he also had an unhealthy interest in serial murderers. Roslyakov’s parents are reportedly divorced and he lives with his mother, who works as a nurse at a local oncology clinic. Mash later reported that police detained Roslyakov’s father for questioning.

Another source claiming to be one of Roslyakov’s classmates told Mash that he came to campus on Wednesday with two backpacks: one gray and one black. The classmate says he and another student said hello to Roslyakov, surprised that he'd skipped class that morning. Later, when the young men were outside, they heard gunfire.

Without revealing the source of the information, the Telegram channel 112claims that Roslyakov got a license in early September for a 12-gauge firearm, and he apparently bought 150 rounds for the weapon. Crimea’s children’s rights commissioner, Irina Klyueva, later confirmed that Roslyakov got a permit for a hunting rifle in early October.

Roslyakov was found dead on the second floor of the college’s main building. According to Aksyonov, the teenager shot himself.

Several media outlets immediately reported that Roslyakov had a Vkontakte account under the name “Vladislav Reich.” It isn’t true.

At 3:22 p.m., the tabloid REN-TV reported that Roslyakov had a Vkontakte account under the pseudonym Vladislav Reich. Several other news outlets — including Moskovsky KomsomoletsZnak, and Izvestia — soon ran the same story. “This confirms claims that he was a fan of [Columbine shooters] Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold,” declared Moskovsky Komsomolets. The “Vladislav Reich” page, however, contains no evidence that the account holder had any special interest in the Columbine high school massacre.

The Vkontakte user “Vladislav Reich” has two friends. Meduza contacted one of these people through Odnoklassniki (another Russian social network), and she said she has no idea who Vladislav Roslyakov is, explaining that the “Reich” account belongs to her son, who’s home with her now and also doesn’t know Roslyakov. (On her Odnoklassniki account, the woman has photographs of a teenager who looks like the young man pictured on the “Reich” Vkontakte account.) “Are you trying to give someone a heart attack? Your information is bad,” she added, and then stopped responding to Meduza’s messages. At 4:32 p.m. (a few hours after Roslyakov shot himself), “Vladislav Reich” changed his profile picture.

One of Roslyakov’s classmates told Meduza that “Reich” “doesn’t look anything like Roslyakov.” Meduza has also obtained screenshots of chat messages with “Reich.” In one message, time-stamped at 4:13 p.m. on October 17, he wrote: “Well that’s that. They’ve ID’d him. But goddamn — how am I supposed to walk the streets now?”

The Telegram channel MDK later published part of a video featuring “Reich,” where he says, “The media confused me with a terrorist. They published my photo and hyperlinks to my page, even though I have nothing to do with this.”

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