Toll in Crimean school shooting rises to 19 dead

Suspected terrorist attack 10 killed dozens injured in explosion in Crimea college

Suspected terrorist attack 10 killed dozens injured in explosion in Crimea college

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-backed head of the government in Crimea, said it was impossible to conceive that 18-year-old suspect Vladislav Roslyakov had prepared the attack by himself.

Since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, Russian authorities repeatedly warned of a terrorism threat from unnamed Ukrainian nationalists and ethnic Tatars, an indigenous Crimean people. Fifty-three people were wounded, including 12 in serious condition.

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.

"I locked the door, hoping he wouldn't hear me", said Gavrilov, who recalled seeing dead bodies lining the floor and charred walls as he evacuated the school with the help of police.

Witnesses did not speak of an explosion but said one or more armed men attacked the school.

According to the RIA Novosti agency, security forces raided Roslyakov's parents' home following the killings.

Russian Federation annexed the peninsula in March 2014, after a referendum in which the population of Crimea chose to become part of Russian Federation.

The Investigative Committee said it was still working to establish the motive for the attack that recalled similar shooting sprees carried out by students in U.S. schools.

The paper said Roslyakov's mother is a Jehovah's Witness - a Christian organisation considered "extremist" and banned in Russian Federation.

The territory of the college where the explosion took place is still cordoned off by the Rosgvardiya, but the principal plans to resume the educational process on Monday.

Crimean authorities said that investigators are looking for possible accomplices. The criminal case launched under the "Terror Attack" section was reclassified under the "Murder" section. "That means that all of us, not only in Russian Federation, but in the world on the whole, are reacting poorly to the fast-changing realities". Russia's investigative committee has said most of the victims were teenagers.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the "tragic news" from Kerch and that he "expresses deep condolences to those who lost relatives and loved ones".

"It's a result of globalisation".

Witnesses said that the attacker fired shots but also spoke of hearing an explosion.

Yet in comparison to the US, Russia has strict gun controls, and unlike the Columbine shooters, the Kerch shooter reportedly legally bought the gun he used.

Local media reported that the explosion happened in the cafetaria, where an improvised explosive device (IED) allegedly went off. Authorities said they were investigating if he had an accomplice in the October 17 shotgun massacre at Kerch Polytechnic College. "I saw people without legs, without arms".

An official in Crimea says all information had been deleted from the computer of the teenager who killed 19 people at his vocational school.

In April, a school student stabbed a teacher and a fellow student in the Urals Mountains and then set fire to a classroom.