KERCH, Crimea (Reuters) – Grieving residents laid flowers and lit candles in the Crimean port city of Kerch on Thursday, a day after an armed teenager went on a shooting rampage at his college, killing 20, most of them fellow pupils.
The suspected attacker was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an attack that saw dozens injured and a bomb set off in the college canteen in the Black Sea region, law enforcement officials said.
Stunned residents gathered on Thursday to mark a three-day official mourning period declared in the region. Orthodox priests sang prayers in the street, leading a memorial service near the college.
“Where were the guards?” a tearful woman at a memorial asked. “Where were the men who were there in large numbers? Why was it children who were shot dead at point blank?”
The death toll, including suspect 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov, rose to 21 on Thursday, Russian agencies cited the Russian Healthy Ministry as saying.
The Investigative Committee said it was still working to establish the motive for the attack that recalled similar shooting sprees carried out by students in U.S. schools.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, prompting international condemnation and Western sanctions, but since then there have been no major outbreaks of violence on the peninsula.
The Russia-backed government in Crimea published a list of the victims, most of whom were teenagers.
(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Toby Chopra)