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The Crimean college tragedy: What we know so far

At least 19 people have been killed in the incident

An attack, which involved a blast and a shooting spree, rocked Crimea's Kerch Polytechnic College, killing at least 19 individuals. According to the head of the region, Sergey Aksyonov, the culprit for the blast was a college student, who later comitted suicide.

What happened

On October 17, an explosion occurred in the Kerch Polytechnic College. According to the latest reports the blast killed 19 and injured more than 50 others. Initially, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case over an act of terrorism. Specialists have found an explosive device in the college and are now studying it, according National Anti-Terror Committee.

Later, the criminal case was reclassified as murder becuase the victims died from gunshot wounds. 

Following the incident, a three-day mourning was declared in Crimea.

Who was the attacker 

The suspect in Wednesday’s bomb explosion shot himself. He was one of the college students, head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov said. "The suspected attacker shot himself. He was a fourth year student of that college. His body was found in the library on the second floor," Aksyonov said.

The suspected perpetrator was a lone wolf, Aksyonov told TASS. "The attacker acted alone, there is no other data," Aksyonov stated, noting that the culprit was a local citizen, who studied at the technical college.

According to spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko, the shooter is "Vladislav Roslyakov, a fourth-year student from the college. His body with a gunshot wound was found in one of the college’s rooms." The student received permit for hunting weapons in September, according to Russian lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein. 

The authorities' reaction

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his deep condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the explosion in Kerch. He promptly instructed the Ministry of Health, the Emergencies Ministry and other agencies to take measures to assist the victims.The head of state also ordered law enforcement officials, including the FSB and investigators, to take immediate steps to look into the causes of the incident.

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also expressed his condolences. He instructed Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova and Minister of Education Olga Vasilyeva to head for Crimea to organize work on assisting the victims.

Kerch’s vital facilities have been placed on high alert, while other educational institutions have suspended their work, the city’s deputy mayor told TASS.

All the socially significant venues on the peninsula are currentlyon high alert. A source in the emergency services explained to TASS that the high alert mode means that access to those facilities was restricted, identification checks along with other security measures were toughened. Each institution has worked out own scenario to respond to incidents. According to the source, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and similar institutions are defined as socially vital facilities.