Brazil school shooting leaves 10 dead
14 Mar 2019, 04:38
At least 10 people were killed and many more injured in a school shooting in Brazil's largest city Sao Paulo on Wednesday.
The shocking attack took place at 9:30 a.m. local time (1230 GMT) at the Raul Brasil Public School in the Jardim Emperador neighborhood of Suzano, a community located within the greater metropolitan area of Sao Paulo.
Initial reports said eight people were killed, but the death toll rose as two of the people wounded and taken to hospital succumbed to their injuries.
The attackers used firearms and knives, sparking a stampede as panicked students ran for cover.
A bomb squad was dispatched to the school, as witnesses reported seeing the two attackers enter the premises carrying a large bundle with cables which was feared to contain explosives.
Parents rushed to the school following the accident, as did Sao Paulo state Gov. Joao Doria.
"These are the worst scenes I have ever seen in my life," Doria told reporters at the scene, adding the priority was to attend to the victims and their families.
Military Police spokesperson Cibele da Silva said there were "several injured people who were taken to two area hospitals," some in serious condition.
Nearly 1,000 students attended the elementary and middle school in the morning-and-afternoon shift.
Witnesses said they saw the two attackers, believed to be former students, who arrived in a white car and shoot at a next door shop.
"We were at recess, having lunch, and they began to kill a lot of people," student Rosni Grotliwed, 15, told a local TV broadcast.
"We heard three shots and went out running ... I saw a lot of dead people on the floor," the student added.
President Jair Bolsonaro condemned the shooting. "I offer my condolences to the families of the victims of the heartless attack that took place today at the Raul Brasil School, in Suzano, Sao Paulo. A monstrosity and cowardice without bounds," he posted online.
The school shooting has shocked Brazil in the midst of a renewed debate about gun laws. Bolsonaro has recently relaxed control on gun possession citing rising crime.
Brazil's worst school shooting occurred on April 7, 2011, when a former student killed 12 minors at his old school in the Realengo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro.