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Students were seen jumping from windows of a Russian university today after a teenage gunman held a key building under siege.
Shots were heard at Perm State University in Russia’s Ural mountains and initial reports said eight were killed and more than 32 were wounded.
A lone gunman was seen walking into the building holding a clearly visible firearm, with reports later saying the shooter had been killed by police.
The unidentified perpetrator used a non-lethal gun, according to the Perm State University press service. Students and staff of the university locked themselves in rooms, and the university urged those who could leave the campus to do so.
It is the second mass shooting at an education facility in Russia this year.
Videos circulating on social media showed students throwing belongings from windows from buildings on campus before jumping to flee the shooter.
State media played amateur footage reportedly taken during the attack showing an individual dressed in black tactical clothing, including a helmet, carrying a weapon and walking through the campus.
‘When the people saw the shooter and heard the shots, some managed to leave the building, others locked themselves in classrooms,’ said one eyewitness account.
Many students were seen jumping after climbing out of a second floor window.
The regional heath ministry said among those wounded were injuries both from the shooting and from trying to escape the building.
The university flashed a message to frightened staff and students saying: ‘If you are currently inside the university, please, try to shut yourself from inside the room, and stay inside.
‘If you are on the campus, please leave if possible. If you are on the way to the university – TURN BACK’.
The gunman shot a security guard on the way into the university, and a call to emergency services went unanswered, it was claimed.
The gunman – named in some reports as Timur Bekmansurov, 18, a student – was later reported to have been overpowered.
The university said he was detained alive but seriously wounded, but other accounts said he had been killed. These were not immediately confirmed.
In messages sent by the suspect before the siege, he was quoted saying he ‘liked causing pain to people’.
He described himself as ‘unstoppable’.
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