Footage shared on social media showed some children jumping from windows to escape as well as injured people being evacuated. Russian TV reported that two of the children died after jumping from a second-floor window.
“Everyone started panicking and saying ‘shut the doors’,” a student who witnessed the attack told the Mediazona news website. “About a minute later the head teacher started yelling: ‘We’re shutting the doors!’
“We got out about 15 minutes later, not out of the windows. I wanted to do that, but the teacher closed the window immediately and said no,” he said.
Reports initially said that there were two gunmen and that one of them had been killed. But officials later said there was only one suspect.
Officials have confirmed eight deaths. Mr Minnikhanov said the victims included four male and three female eighth-grade students. His press service later added that a teacher was also killed.
More than 20 others were injured, according to local media reports.
Mr Minnikhanov said 12 children and four adults were being treated in hospital. Six children are said to be in a critical condition.
“The terrorist has been arrested. He’s 19. He’s a registered firearm owner,” he said.
A video on social media captured a teenager lying on the ground apparently being detained outside the building.
After the attack Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Putin had ordered the chief of Russia’s National Guard to “work out as a matter of urgency new regulations on the types of weapon that can be in civilian circulation and that can be owned by the public”.
The instruction was issued “given the type of firearm used by the shooter”, Mr Peskov said. “The fact is that sometimes types of small arms are registered as hunting weapons, which in some countries are used as assault rifles,” he explained.
A Kazan resident outside the school told Moscow Echo radio station that people there were “hysterical”. “Parents are crying, medics are giving out medicine,” she said.
Authorities have called for all schools in Tartarstan to be inspected and have their security stepped up.
A day of mourning will be held on Wednesday to honour the victims. (BBC)
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