Putin blames Crimea school massacre on the globalization of an American trend

A woman cries during a church service for the victims of the college attack in Kerch, Crimea, on Oct. 18, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2018

Putin blames Crimea school massacre on the globalization of an American trend

  • An 18-year-old student went on a rampage at the school on the Crimean Peninsula, killing 19 people and wounding more than 50 others before killing himself
  • The school attack in Kerch was the greatest loss of life in school violence in Russia since the Beslan attack, in which 333 people were killed

SOCHI: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the mass school shooting in Crimea a day before was the result of "globalization" and the continuation of an American trend.
"It's a result of globalisation. On social media, on the internet, we see that there is a whole community that has been created. Everything started with the tragic events in schools in the US," he said at a forum in Sochi.
He said unstable young people were creating "fake heroes for themselves" and "reaching out for a surrogate for heroism" in the absence of the real thing.
"We're not creating healthy (internet) content for young people... which leads to tragedies of this kind," he said.
"But there is a place for real heroism in today's life," he said.
An 18-year-old identified as Vladislav Roslyakov on Wednesday killed at least 20 students at a college in the Moscow-annexed peninsula before killing himself.
More than 40 others were injured in what local press dubbed "Russia's Columbine", a reference to a 1999 US high school massacre.
Authorities said they were working to establish the motive for the attack.
An ex-girlfriend told Russian state media Roslyakov had spoken to her about taking revenge for bullying at the school.
At least 10 of the wounded will be airlifted to hospitals in Russia, the health minister said Thursday.
Wednesday’s attack in the city of Kerch was by far the worst by a student in Russia, raising questions about school security in the country. The Kerch Polytechnic College had only a front desk with no security guards.
Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova told Russian news agencies on Thursday that authorities were preparing to airlift at least 10 people with severe injuries to top Russian hospitals for surgery. Dozens more remain hospitalized in Kerch.
Most of the people killed died from gunshot wounds, and those who ended up hospitalized have injuries from a blast from an improvised explosive device that was packed with shrapnel.
“The kids’ muscles have been ‘minced’ with small metal objects,” Skvortsova said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency. “Those who have their organs ripped apart, we are finding metal balls in kidneys, intestines, in blood vessels. That is how powerful the blast was.”
Kremlin-appointed Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov told Russian news agencies that the first victim will be buried later Thursday.
The school attack in Kerch was the greatest loss of life in school violence in Russia since the Beslan attack by Chechen separatists in 2004, in which 333 people were killed during a three-day siege, many of them children, and hundreds were wounded.


On 16th birthday, California student opens fire at his high school, killing two

Updated 15 November 2019

On 16th birthday, California student opens fire at his high school, killing two

SANTA CLARITA, California: A Southern California high school student pulled a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun from his backpack and fired on fellow classmates on Thursday morning, killing two and wounding three others.
He saved the last bullet for himself. It was his 16th birthday.
The teenaged gunman, whose name was not provided by police, survived the self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head but was in grave condition in hospital, law enforcement officials said.
Captain Kent Wegener of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told reporters the entire incident, captured on videotape, took 16 seconds as the young man stood in one spot and fired on one student after another.
“From right where he was standing, he doesn’t chase anybody, he fires from where he is until he shoots himself,” Wegener said.
The scene at Saugus High School was reminiscent of other mass shootings at US schools, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a former student with an assault gun killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018.
Wegener confirmed the suspect posted a message on his Instagram account before the shooting that said: “Saugus have fun at school tomorrow.” The post was later taken down.
The two slain students were a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Two other girls, aged 14 and 15, were wounded, as was a 14-year old boy, Wegener said.

Students are evacuated from Saugus High School onto a school bus after a shooting at the school left two students dead and three wounded on Nove. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)


Motive unknown
Investigators said they did not yet know what led the student to open fire at the school 40 miles (65 km) north of Los Angeles.
Police said the accused shooter had acted alone. Investigators descended on his family home, blocking off the street. They found no further danger there.
A next-door neighbor, registered nurse Jared Axen, said the suspect had seemed introverted, quiet and sad, possibly despondent over the loss of his father from a heart attack in December 2017.
Axen, 33, said it was the boy who found his father deceased, not long after the older man had regained his sobriety and gotten his life “back on track” after years of struggling with alcohol abuse.
“I would say he (the boy) was hurting and couldn’t ask for help,” Axen said of the suspect, who was a track athlete at the school, involved in Boy Scouts and liked the outdoors, going on hunting trips with his father.
He was of mixed race, born to Japanese-born mother and white father, with an older sister who became a nurse and moved away.
“I would ask him how school was ... he would never bring up concerns of bullying or being a loaner there,” Axen said.
There was no immediate word on where the teen gunman obtained the weapon.
“How do we come out of tragedy? We need to say ‘No more!’ This is a tragic event. It happens too frequently,” said Captain Robert Lewis of Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station, striking an emotional note in an otherwise somber news conference.


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A 16-year-old Saugus High School junior named Pamela, who spoke to Reuters on condition that she not give her last name, said she was in her first-period choir class when some girls ran into the room and said there was a shooting going on.
“Our teacher immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher and got us into her office and locked the door,” Pamela said, adding that one of the girls had been shot in the shoulder.
Taylor Hardges reported seeing people running in the hallways shouting “Run!” She raced into a classroom, where a teacher barricaded the room.
“We’ve had drills. It doesn’t prepare you for the real thing,” she said after reuniting with her father at a designated spot in Santa Clarita’s Central Park.
Her father, Terrence Hardges, said he felt his heart race after Taylor texted him from inside the classroom with the message: “I love you. I’m pinned in a room. We’re locked in.”
The shooting at Saugus was the 85th incidence of gunfire at a school this year, according to Everytown, a gun control advocacy group. It seems sure to reignite a debate over gun control in the 2020 presidential election.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School, where two teenagers went on a rampage, fatally shooting 12 students and a teacher and wounding more than 20 others before killing themselves.