Gunman kills at least eight at Russian university

At least eight people have died after a gunman opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm, officials say.

The assailant walked on to the campus on Monday morning and started shooting.

Students and teachers barricaded themselves inside the university building; others were seen jumping from windows.

Police say they wounded and detained the attacker, who is said to be a student.

The local health ministry says 19 people were injured in the attack.

The incident occurred at 11:00 (06:00 GMT) at Perm State University, located around 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) east of the capital, Moscow, in the Urals.

Videos circulating on social media shows students throwing belongings out of windows from buildings on campus before jumping to flee the shooter.

This piece of footage of students jumping out of windows was broadcast on Russian TV:

Some reports say the gunman had written on social media that he was acting alone and had no political or religious motives.

The gunman was identified as a student at the university, according to the Investigative Committee that handles probes into major crimes.

One of the university’s professors, Ivan Pechishchev, told the BBC he saw students running from a building, and people jumping out of the second floor as he went to class.

“They jumped out in some horror, screaming,” he said. “One of the students told me that it was a shooting. I heard pops, everyone began to scatter in different directions. I went to my students in the second building and continued to hear the pops.”

According to Prof Pechishchev, there are about 10 buildings on the Perm University campus, and the security service immediately blocked all buildings and passages.

Perm University posted a message on social networks urging students who were in the building to stay in the classrooms.

“There were about 60 people in the classroom. We closed the door and barricaded it with chairs,” one student, Semyon Karyakin, told Reuters news agency.

Earlier this year, a 19-year-old gunman opened fire in his old school in the central Russian city of Kazan, killing nine people.