Brazil school shooting: Deadly attack in São Paulo

Frederick Owens
March 14, 2019

The last major incident of this type occurred back in 2011, when 12 schoolchildren were shot dead in Rio de Janeiro by a former student.

Authorities identified the attackers as 17-year-old Guilherme Taucci Monteiro and 25-year-old Henrique de Castro.

In addition to the five kids, one adult who worked at the Professor Raul Brasil school in Suzano, on the outskirts of São Paulo, was killed as well as a person standing outside the building.

The gunmen were wearing masks and killed themselves after the attack, police said.

The assailants reportedly were former students of the school, yet the motive of the attack remains unclear.

Doria said the dead included two teachers and six students, and several more people had been hospitalized after sustaining injuries.

While gun crime is common in Brazil, mass shootings like this nature are not.

An amateur video aired by Globo TV showed children screaming, running and begging for their lives as loud shots were heard. Instead of face police, they turned their weapons on themselves, authorities said without elaborating.

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Sao Paulo´s state military police department told AFP that "several people were shot" when "an individual" entered the institution in Suzano and opened fire.

School shootings are rare in Brazil, although the country is one of the world's most violent, with more annual homicides than any other.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January, has signed a decree making it easier for law-abiding citizens to own a gun, a key campaign promise, even though many restrictions remain in place.

"We thought it was the shooters coming to get us, but it was the police", she said.

The school has primary and secondary students, and the identities of the victims and the alleged attackers have not yet been released. Castro's body lay near Monteiro's, with the crossbow on the ground between the pair.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said as he stood outside the school that "our solidarity goes out to the families of the victims".

"It's a very sad scene, the saddest thing I've seen in my entire life".

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