Russian city of Perm mourns victims of university shooting

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The Russian city of Perm on Tuesday mourned the six people killed by a teenage gunman at a university in an incident that sent shockwaves through the community.

The gunman, identified by local media as an 18-year-old student, opened fire on campus at Perm State University on Monday, prompting students to barricade themselves inside classrooms and to jump from first-floor windows to flee.

Natalia Sokolova, whose son Alexander attends the university in Perm, a city of 1 million located 1,300 km (800 miles) east of Moscow, was among the dozens of people who gathered outside the campus to pay their respects. Some lay red and white flowers at the entrance.

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Sokolova said she nearly fainted when she heard of the shooting, forgetting that her son had not been in class that day.

“People like that shouldn’t be allowed to get in and study at universities,” Sokolova said, referring to the shooter.

The gunman was wounded after resisting arrest and detained. He had obtained a hunting rifle in May according to investigators.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the attack. The gunman had posted a picture of himself with a rifle, helmet and ammunition and written on social media that he dreamed of carrying out a shooting.

The post, which could not be independently verified, suggested that his actions had nothing to do with politics or religion but were motivated by hatred.

The emergencies ministry flew some of the people severely injured in the shooting to Moscow on Tuesday for treatment.

Russia has strict restrictions on civilian firearm ownership, but some categories of guns are available for purchase for hunting, self-defense or sport to those who meet the requirements.

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