Gunman (stock)
Gunman (stock)iStock

A Jewish student in Crimea is alive because he was late to school today.

18 people were killed when a student opened fire at the Kerch Polytechnic College in the city of Kerch, located in eastern Crimea, which has been under Russian control since 2014.

Initial reports indicated that the attack was a suicide bombing. The investigation has revealed that the shooter began the attack by detonating an explosive device, but that the victims were killed when he began firing a gun. The shooter then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

The city has a vibrant Jewish community that is part of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. The synagogue in the center of the city holds regular prayers, Torah classes, and ethics classes.

The Jewish student was late for school and therefore was not present during the shooting, the local Chabad stated.

Russian officials are investigating the shooting as a possible terrorist attack.