Interior Ministry members stand guard outside the premises
of the high school after the shooting. REUTERS/Maxim
A teenager described as a model student shot a teacher
and a police officer dead and took more than 20 of his
schoolmates hostage in a Moscow classroom, days before Russia
hosts the Winter Olympics under tight security.
The suspect was disarmed and detained about an hour after the
shootings after talking to his father, the owner of the two
rifles with which he forced his way into the school in
northern Moscow at midday (local time).
The incident rattled nerves in a country on high alert for
Islamist militant violence as athletes and spectators arrive
for the Sochi Games, a prestige project that will help shape
President Vladimir Putin's legacy.
Putin, who says young Russians are suffering from a moral
vacuum left by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, said
the attack might have been avoided with better cultural
It is almost unheard-of for a student to attack a school in
Russia. A horrific assault in 2004 on a school in Beslan in
the North Caucasus, in which more than 330 people were
killed, was the work of Islamist separatists.
Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the
Moscow student may have suffered an "emotional breakdown".
The attacker knocked on the door of the 10th grade class
about five minutes after the start of a lesson, his classmate
Ivan Chekanov, one of the students who was held hostage, told
Reuters later on Monday.
"We were glad to see him at first - but then he shot the
geology teacher," Chekanov, 16, told Reuters. "He fired the
shot, then he got up onto the podium, laid out his rifles and
said he had 100 bullets and that he had come to die."
"Andrei Nikolayevich (the teacher) was dripping with blood,
he had fallen but he was still alive," he said. (The
attacker) asked us: 'Why is he still alive? I killed him.'
Everyone was silent."
"He said, 'Well, guys, your answer gets a 'D', and fired
several more shots," Chekanov said by telephone.
The shooting sent dozens of other students scurrying into the
street in sub-zero temperatures while a police helicopter
landed in a snow-covered field outside and at least six
ambulances rolled up to the scene.
Officials said the assailant had also shot a policeman
responding to the incident, who died in hospital, and that
another policeman had been wounded.
The incident began around noon when the attacker cocked a gun
at a guard who tried to stop him entering the school, the
federal Investigative Committee said.
It said the guard had managed to press an alarm button,
bringing police to the school. "When the police entered, the
shooter opened fire at them, wounding one and killing
Markin said the assailant fired at least 11 shots.
His father was brought in and spent 15 minutes talking to his
son by phone before being given a bulletproof vest and going
into the classroom. His son began releasing students 30
minutes later, Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin said.
"Once all the students were released and he was alone with
his father, special forces ... seized the moment and the 10th
grader was neutralised and detained," Yakunin said at the
The attacker had phoned his mother from the classroom,
Chekanov said. "Then his father called, and he told him where
the geography room was, and to come unarmed."
"His father asked him what he done, where he had got the
rifle," Chekanov said. "He got the weapons at home and he got
the ammunition from the dresser or the cabinet - he answered
something like that."
A former classmate, Sakhobudin Tagoyev, said the alleged
attacker was a model student who in the past had "set an
example for the whole school".
"The teachers liked and respected him," Tagoyev said in an
exchange with Reuters online. "He was like Einstein."
But Tagoyev also said the alleged attacker was quick to get
nervous "if something did not work out for him ... or if he
got bad grades".
Russian media said the alleged assailant might have been
settling a score with the geography teacher. But Markin said
there were "no serious grounds" to suspect the attack was the
result of a personal conflict.
Putin told a meeting of a Kremlin advisory council on the
arts and culture in Pskov that "the new generation of
audiences needs to be raised with good artistic taste and the
ability to understand and value the theatrical, dramatic and
"And if this was done as it should be in our country, then
maybe there would not be tragedies like the tragedy in Moscow