While investigations are still underway, according to the BBC, on October 17, Vladislav Roslyakov ran around the small Kerch Polytechnic campus firing a gun, resulting in the deaths of 19 people.
There remains speculation surrounding how the attack began; however, many witnesses state that there was an explosion before Roslyakov started firing, and then another one after the shooting commenced.
The Russian government is classifying the attack as a “mass murder.” This is not the only gun-related attack affecting students this year in Russia, which is raising questions surrounding school safety and the ease of obtaining a high-power weapon. It is rumored that Roslyakov received a gun permit sometime before the shooting, but officials are skeptical about the authenticity of that claim; it remains unclear how he obtained the gun.
It was revealed that the technical college did not have proper security to prevent an attack, which is angering Ukrainians and Russians alike.
Today’s Russian papers on the massacre at Kerch Polytechnic:
“The deadliest shooting in modern Russian history.”
“Death enters the gates of Crimea.”
“Black Sea of Tears”
“We are doomed to see a repetition.”
Click for a full press review. pic.twitter.com/9gE5HFXt33
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) October 18, 2018
According to The Daily Beast, the shooter allegedly “had a strong interest in serial killers and professed a dream to become famous as the gunman of a Russian version of Columbine.” The shooter was even donning similar attire to Eric Harris, the Columbine shooter. BBC noted that he kept to himself but was vocal about his disdain for the technical college, both supposedly characteristic qualities of a school shooter.
The Russian government has pledged to do all that they can to figure out the shooter’s exact motive and the correct line of events. While it is alleged that the shooter was inspired by an attack in the United States nearly two decades ago, a Russian official speculated that “foreign action movies” were to blame.
“These movies create a wrong stereotype. We should fight against films that demonstrate psychopathic men preparing for [these kinds] of murders.”
BBC notes that Crimea was taken from Ukraine by Russia in 2014, which has only heightened tensions between the two powers. However, it is unclear if this attack was directly related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The uncertainty of a correlation between the attack and the conflict did not stop Vladimir Konstantinos from the Crimean parliament from saying, “The entire evil inflicted on the land of Crimea is coming from the official Ukrainian authorities.”
With an investigation still underway, relatives are mourning the loss of their loved ones, and Crimea commenced “three days of mourning” beginning today, October 18.