TWO small children are among those to have been killed after a gunman opened fire on a nursery in a reported murder-suicide.
Officials were called to the bloody scene in Veskiama, Russia as two further fatalities were confirmed.
According to Tass, the man opened fire on the two tots before turning the gun on himself.
The young victims, named as five-year-old Vladimir and six-year-old Ekaterina had reportedly been sleeping in their beds at the time.
The alleged gunman had embarked on a ruthless rampage after gunning down his neighbour, Alexandrer Dronin, 68, before entering through the school gates.
He then reportedly shot schoolteacher Olga Mitrofanova who had heroically attempted to stop the gunman from entering the children’s classroom.
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Fellow nanny at the kindergarten, Elena Karpova, 52, also suffered an arm injury, but is said to be in a stable condition at hospital.
The gunman was later identified to police as 26-year-old Ruslan Akhtyamov.
His father confirmed that his son had been a keen rifleman and often went shooting in a nearby quarry.
It came as police found evidence that he had reportedly been armed with a double-barreled shotgun at the time of his death.
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The governor of the Ulyanovsk region, Aleksey Russkikh, is now due to fly to the site of the tragedy as an investigation is opened into the tragedy.
He has ordered emergency assistance be given to the families of those killed.
In a statement he said: "I express my deep condolences to the families and friends of the victims. This is an irreplaceable loss for all of us."
Heartbreaking footage later shared from outside the nursery showed paramedics providing assistance to several people outside the nursery building as traumatised parents looked on in distress.
It mirrored similarly harrowing scenes in the Russian city of Kazan last year after a teen gunned down eight students at his former school.
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Ilnaz Renatovich Galyaviev, 19, reportedly told investigators that he “he hated everybody”, and “wanted everybody to know he is a god” after as he spoke to police.
He has since pleaded guilty to the murder of multiple individuals and remains in police custody.
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