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Explainer: What We Know About the Kazan School Shooter So Far

Mourners spell out "175" with candles at the scene of a shooting at Secondary School No. 175 on Tuesday. Yegor Aleyev / TASS

A former student opened fire at a high school in the Russian city of Kazan on Tuesday, killing seven students and two adults and injuring more than 23 people in one of the country’s worst shooting incidents in recent history.

Officers detained the gunman at the scene, whose official motive remains unclear.

Here’s what we know about the shooter so far:

— He has been identified as 19-year-old Ilnaz Galyaviyev from Russia’s republic of Tatarstan, where Kazan is the capital. Galyaviyev reportedly finished School No. 175, where the tragedy took place, four years ago and was recently expelled from a local technical college over a poor academic record.

— Officials said Galyaviyev obtained a gun license on April 28, by some accounts two days after his expulsion, and used it to buy the semi-automatic shotgun used in the attack. The same weapon type was used by a Crimean student during another high-profile school shooting in 2018.

— In a statement Wednesday, the Investigative Committee said that Galyaviyev had no registered history of mental illness or drug abuse.

— They noted that Galyaviyev had in 2020 sought medical help for “severe headaches” and had been diagnosed with a brain disease.

— The Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday that he had been diagnosed last year with cerebral atrophy, an incurable disease marked by the progressive loss of brain cells and of cognitive and neurological functions.

— Galyaviyev’s relatives had started to notice his short temper and aggressive behavior at the start of 2021, the Investigative Committee said.

— “His current condition is characterized by delusional behavior, which at the moment prevents the conduct of a full investigation with him,” they added.

— A police interrogation video showed a shirtless and bruised Galyaviyev claiming to have realized he was “god” who “hates everyone.” Media previously located a social media account created days ahead of the shooting where the author posted photos of himself wearing a coat and neck gaiter with the Russian word for “god” on it.

— Pavel Durov, founder of the encrypted messaging app Telegram, said Galyaviyev posted his plans 20 minutes ahead of the attack and made his account public 5 minutes later. Durov said his team deleted Galyaviyev’s account within an hour of it being reported, which happened after the gunman was detained.

— Galyaviyev faces life in prison on charges of mass murder.

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