MOSCOW (AP) — A 10th-grade student with two rifles burst into his Moscow school on Monday, killing his geography teacher and a policeman in front of about 20 students, investigators said. His father played a key role in freeing those students before police stormed the classroom and took his son into custody, the city police chief said.
The student gunman also seriously wounded a second police officer who had responded to an alarm from the school, investigators said.
None of the approximately 400 children in School No. 263 at the time were hurt, said Karina Sabitova, a police spokeswoman. But students were so fearful that some ran from the building with their teachers without stopping to put on coats in below-freezing temperatures. The school in northeast Moscow is for children in grades one through 11.
Such shootings in Russian schools are extremely rare. Any attack on a school, however, unavoidably brings back memories of the Beslan school siege in 2004, when Islamic militants from Russia's North Caucasus took about 1,000 people hostage, most of them children. More than 300 hostages were killed when Russian security forces stormed that school.
Russia is also now on alert for terrorist attacks, especially after Islamic militants asserted responsibility for twin suicide bombings in the city of Volgograd in December and threatened to strike during the Sochi Winter Olympics, which begin Friday in the Black Sea resort.
Monday's attack, however, raised no suspicions of any link to terrorism.
The ethnic Russian teenager entered the school after threatening its security guard, who managed to hit an alarm before following the student to his classroom, said Vladimir Markin, spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee, its main investigative agency.
"Without saying a word, he fired several shots at the geography teacher," Markin said.
Markin identified the teenager as Sergei Gordeyev and said he was an excellent student who apparently had an emotional breakdown. Gordeyev fired at least 11 times from a small-caliber rifle, also killing one police officer and wounding a second, Markin said.