Mourning Declared in Crimea Following Attack on Polytechnic College in Kerch

17.10.2018 09:20

Mourning Declared in Crimea Following Attack on Polytechnic College in Kerch

A three-day mourning has been declared in Crimea after 19 people were killed and about 50 others received injuries of varying severity in a shooting attack on a polytechnic college in the Crimean city of Kerch on Wednesday, which was followed by a blast caused by the detonation of an unidentified explosive device.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the preliminary examination of the bodies of the attack's victims indicated that they died as a result of gunshot wounds.

Vladislav Roslyakov, the college's student, was identified as the perpetrator of the shooting attack.

The Russian National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) has assumed that Roslyakov might have had accomplices, the search for the masterminds and perpetrators of the bombing is underway.

Blast, Shooting

According to the NAC, following the explosion in the college criminal proceedings under the Russian Criminal Code's article on the terrorist attack have been initiated. It was later established that an unidentified young man shot people in the college, after which the case was requalified to the killing of two or more persons with a generally dangerous method.

Based on the crime scene, investigators preliminary assume that this young man shot people, who were in the college, later committing a suicide. In this connection, the criminal proceedings previously instituted under article 205 of the Russian Criminal Code were requalified to the Section 2 of Article 105 of the Russian Criminal Code (the killing of two or more persons with the generally dangerous method)," Svetlana Petrenko, the spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee, said.

Attacker's Identity

The Russian Investigative Committee identified the attacker as an 18-year-old student of the polytechnic college.

"The identity of the young man who came to the college right before the incident, and who, based on the video footage, was holding a rifle, was established swiftly. That was an 18-year old Vladislav Roslyakov, a fourth-year student of the college. His body with a gunshot wound was found in one of the rooms in the college," Petrenko said.

Crimea's head Sergei Aksyonov, in turn, confirmed that Roslyakov was the college's fourth-year student.

"[Roslyakov] was never aggressive, was a timid boy, who did not have a criminal record," Aksyonov told Russia's Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Search for Masterminds, Investigation

According to the NAC, the investigators are currently searching for the possible organizers and perpetrators of the bombing in the college.

Petrenko stated that investigators had already proceeded with a questioning of the blast witnesses and had been examining the surveillance video.

A special headquarters comprising the employees of the Russian Investigative Committee, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Interior Ministry has been established to probe into the case.

The Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) established that the explosion in the college had been caused by the detonation of an improvised explosive device.

According to Rosgvardia, the college's building was examined by an engineering team of the Russian Special Purpose Police Unit (OMON).

To Inform General Public on Probe

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in Sochi for talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Sisi, extended condolences to the victims' relatives, adding that the motives for the crime were being thoroughly examining.

"It is already clear that this was a crime. The motives and versions of this tragedy are being thoroughly studied," Putin said following the talks with the Egyptian president.

Putin also pledged to brief the general public on the progress of probe into the attack.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin was informed by FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov about the latest developments in Kerch. Peskov stated at the same time that the Russian president's agenda would not change in light of the tragic events in Kerch.

Additional Safety Measures

Russian Deputy Education Minister Andrei Nikolaev announced that additional security measures would be adopted at Russia's secondary schools and intermediate vocational training schools in the coming months in light of the attack.

"In any case, an entire series of measures aimed at increasing, in a broad sense, the security of students both at schools and intermediate vocational training schools are being actively elaborated… In the coming months concrete decisions concerning the issue will emerge," Nikolaev said.

Mourning

The Crimean authorities have declared three days of mourning following the tragedy.

"I express the most sincere and deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the explosion at the Kerch Polytechnic College. Shocked by this terrible tragedy, I share your pain and grief. Three days of mourning will be declared in Crimea in connection with this tragedy," Aksyonov wrote on Facebook.

The Crimean head stated that memorial sites for placing flowers would be established in Crimea's cities.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, the Egyptian president, Italian Deputy Prime Minister, and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the Council of Europe have expressed their condolences over the Kerch tragedy.