Student shoots, kills two at Moscow high school

Student shoots, kills two at Moscow high school
A girl leaves the Moscow school where authorities said a student fatally shot a teacher and a police officer. (Dmitry Serebryakov / AFP/Getty Images)

MOSCOW -- A 15-year-old student at a Moscow high school fatally shot a teacher and a police officer and held a class of 29 hostage Monday until he was persuaded by his father to release his captives and turn himself in, officials said.

"According to our information, his grades were excellent and most likely it was some kind of an emotional breakdown," said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee.


Officials said Gordeyev entered the school early in the afternoon armed with a shotgun and ordered a school guard to let him in. He then proceeded to the room where his geography class was held, officials said.

Upon entering the classroom, Gordeyev shot 37-year-old teacher Andrei Kirillov, officials said. When he saw that Kirillov was still breathing, Gordeyev came up closer and shot him again, killing him, a student told his mother, who repeated the account.

He then pointed a gun at his classmates and said, "I don't want to kill any of you," she said her son told her. "I am afraid of death so much I wanted to see what it looks like."

Some media reports said Gordeyev was armed with two guns, a small-caliber rifle and a hunting shotgun, the property of his father.

When two local police officers arrived on the scene and opened the classroom door, Gordeyev fired on them, killing Warrant Officer Sergei Bushuyev and seriously injuring Senior Sergeant Vladimir Krokhin, officials said.

Meanwhile, all other classes were stopped and students were evacuated from the school building.

By that time, police got in touch with Gordeyev's father and asked him to talk to his son, officials said.

At first the two talked on the phone, then Gordeyev's father arrived at the school and, standing outside the classroom door, spoke to his son for a quarter of an hour before the boy agreed to let him in, Moscow Police Chief Anatoly Yakunin said.

"We then equipped his father with a bulletproof jacket and special means and he entered the classroom," Yakunin said in televised remarks. "The conversation inside the classroom went on for half an hour and then [Gordeyev] began to let the hostages go."

When all the hostages were freed and Gordeyev was left in the classroom alone with his father, a special police force broke into the classroom and subdued the suspected shooter, Yakunin said.

Investigators are working with the teen, who will require a psychological examination, Markin said. In all, Gordeyev fired 11 shots, he said.

Gordeyev had not been known to have any conflicts with the teacher or with his classmates, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov told the daily Kommersant.

Kirillov is survived by his wife and a baby, media reports said. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin expressed condolences and said he will personally reexamine the security situation in Moscow schools.

"We need to draw due lessons, conduct a due investigation of the school activities and establish the reasons," Sobyanin said in televised remarks. "We also need to take measures to enhance security at Moscow schools."


[Updated, 6:21 a.m. PST, Feb. 3: Attitudes and relationships between students and teachers are changing so fast that it was only a question of time before a shooting incident such as the one on Monday would take place in a Russian school, said Sergei Kazarnovsky, the director of another Moscow school.

"Unfortunately the notion that a teacher is an indisputably respected authority for all school students is a thing of the past," Kazarnovsky, head of school No. 686 said in an interview with The Times. "Thank God we don't have so many guns and weapons in our homes in Russia like in the United States. If we did, the overall picture would have been much more horrifying for Russia, given its exceptionally high teenage suicide percentage.]

For the record, 5:00 p.m. Feb. 3: An earlier version of this post included the name of the juvenile arrested in the school shooting. The Times generally does not print the names of juveniles accused in criminal cases.