Crimea Massacre: School Shooting Occurs in Kerch

By Teagan Fair | United States

On Wednesday, 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov went on a killing spree in Kerch Polytechnic College in Crimea. He reportedly ran from classroom to classroom, killing 20 people and wounding 50 others before shooting himself.

About The Killer

Vladislav Roslyakov was a fourth-year student at Kerch Polytechnic College. The school is in Kerch, Crimea, which Russia annexed with the rest of the region in 2014. The boy, according to reports, aspired to be an electrician. According to the tabloid Mash, Roslyakov was a “shy young man who spoke to almost no one.” His parents had also divorced when he was young.

The Russian daily Kommersant relates that Roslyakov’s father was disabled. His mother, on the other hand, was a Jehovah’s Witness who worked at a hospital. The killer grew up lower-class and lived with only his mother. His interests included video games and weapons. As some sources report, he also had an interest in murderers.

Possible Motives

Roslyakov reportedly had a strong disdain for his school, and had vowed revenge on his peers, said a friend of his. According to an ex-girlfriend of Roslyakov, students bullied him for being different. He had posted on social media just days before the attack regarding the lack of sense in his life. Moreover, he mentioned the possibility of committing the shooting and killing himself.

Several media outlets have made comparisons between this attack and the Columbine shooting. For example, both killers placed bombs in the dining area and committed suicide in the library. Additionally, Roslyakov wore a white shirt with the word “Hatred”. This, of course, is similar to Eric Harris’ “Natural Selection” shirt. Given that the killer’s knowledge of past shooters, it is entirely possible that the Columbine massacre inspired this attack.

The Events of the Crimea Massacre

One of the killer’s classmates reportedly spotted him entering campus on Wednesday. At 11:46 AM, this occurred well after the school day had begun. The student told Mash that he and a friend greeted Roslyakov as they normally would. However, later that day, the two reportedly heard gunfire from inside the school while they were outside.

Roslyakov had come to school suspiciously with two backpacks, one gray and one black. The killer held a Hatsan Escort Aimguard 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, grenades, as well as a nail bomb that had successfully detonated, according to some witnesses. On the contrary, others only recall the use of firearms and grenades. Some witnesses, though, have even claimed to have seen several attackers. Roslyakov got a license and 150 rounds for his weapon in early September.

The Official Report

According to the Russian daily Kommersant, he “moved from room to room and, like an experienced special forces fighter, first threw a home-made grenade before going to shoot people.” Sergei Melikov, deputy chief of the Russian National Guard, said that the explosive device was home-made and the Investigative Committee, the nation’s most senior investigative agency, claimed that the device had shrapnel. Investigators later said they had found a second explosive device among the gunman’s possessions.

“Some victims’ internal organs were ruptured, we’re finding washers and ball bearings in their livers, intestines, blood vessels,” claims Veronika Skvortsova, Russian Prime Health Minister. “Limbs have been amputated – people have lost feet and shins,” she said. Russian officials had originally classified the attack as terrorism. Later, however, they reclassified it to ‘mass murder’, unable to find a political motive. By the end of it, Roslyakov reportedly murdered 15 students and 5 teachers. He also injured up to 50 others.

This tragic event happened in a nation that is foreign to many. We, nonetheless, as a human race, grieve for the many victims at the Kerch Polytechnic College, their families, and the people of Crimea.

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