‘Are you immortal? Let me check!’ Terrified witnesses recall shooting spree at Blagoveshchensk college
He was kicked out of the classroom for being late, but returned with a high-power shotgun and blasted fellow students at point-blank range. Witnesses have recalled the rampage at a college in Russia’s Far East.
What seemed to be a regular day turned into a nightmare for students of the Amur College of Construction and Utilities in the town of Blagoveshchensk, near the Chinese border. Their quiet, below-average classmate – who they say was bullied at school – turned into a cold-blooded gunman after a seemingly unremarkable incident on Thursday morning.
The 18-year-old, whose name has been withheld, was told to leave after arriving late for class. It’s unknown whether he was overcome with shame or if there had been some altercation with classmates, but the incident transpired to be a prelude to the tragedy.
He went home, grabbed his firearm – which was legally held and registered to the shooter himself – and returned to the school, which was to become a bloodbath in a matter of minutes.
“The guy snuck the gun past the security guard, then entered the toilet and loaded it in there,” a college student told Russia’s 360 news outlet.
While he was readying his weapon – reportedly a high-velocity smoothbore shotgun – he was spotted by another student who entered the toilet. For some unknown reason, the gunman decided not to open his body count at that time. He told the witness to jump out of the window if he wanted to live. The student survived the fall but broke both arms, according to 360.
Other witnesses reported that the shooter remained chillingly calm when he burst into the classroom. Surprisingly, he allowed a female teacher to run away, enabling her to call the police from a nearby store. But this didn’t stop the rampage.
“He came in quietly,” a witness told Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid.
There was music playing – Nirvana, Kurt Cobain. He was doing this to the music.
Most of the class hid under tables, but some stood their ground. One classmate stood up, catching the gunman’s eye. “Hey, are you immortal?” the shooter asked, moments before shooting his unarmed victim at point blank range with the comment: “Let’s check it out!”
The shooter then opened fire indiscriminately, targeting everyone in his crosshairs. Panic and terror broke out, with some students managing to escape and reach the nearest police patrol car.
Officers rushed to the building and encountered the shooter as they went upstairs. They managed to force him back into the classroom, reportedly injuring him during a brief shootout. The authorities say he refused to surrender and turned the gun on himself.
“The bodies of two people, including the attacker, were discovered at the scene,” police confirmed. Three more people were injured, including two teenagers and a young man, they said.
As the town is recovering from shock, the authorities have already said they will care for the family of the slain student and look after the injured. Special attention will also be given to ramping up security at other schools and universities.
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