School at­tack in Brazil

2 ex-stu­dents use gun, cross­bow to kill 5 chil­dren, 2 staff mem­bers, them­selves

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - Front Page - MAURI­CIO SAVARESE AND ANNA JEAN KAISER

A for­mer stu­dent is com­forted by a friend Wed­nes­day out­side the Raul Brasil Pro­fes­sor pub­lic school in Suzano in south­ern Brazil, where two masked men with guns, knives, axes and cross­bows killed five stu­dents and two adults be­fore killing them­selves, au­thor­i­ties said. The at­tack­ers, iden­ti­fied as for­mer stu­dents ages 17 and 25, also killed a used-car busi­ness owner ear­lier in the day.

SUZANO, Brazil — Two masked men armed with guns, knives, axes and cross­bows opened fire on a school in south­ern Brazil on Wed­nes­day, killing five stu­dents and two adults be­fore tak­ing their own lives, au­thor­i­ties said.

The men, iden­ti­fied as for­mer stu­dents at the school in a sub­urb of Sao Paulo, also shot and killed the owner of a used-car busi­ness nearby be­fore launch­ing the at­tack on the school, au­thor­i­ties said.

Be­sides the five stu­dents, the dead in­cluded a teacher and a school ad­min­is­tra­tor, said Joao Camilo Pires de Cam­pos, the state’s pub­lic sec­re­tary. Nine oth­ers were wounded in the school at­tack and hos­pi­tal­ized, he said.

“This is the sad­dest day of my life,” de Cam­pos said, speak­ing to re­porters out­side the school in the Sao Paulo sub­urb of Suzano.

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

“The big ques­tion is: What was the mo­ti­va­tion of these for­mer stu­dents?” de Cas­tro said.

Mon­teiro’s mother, Ta­tiana Taucci, of­fered a pos­si­ble an­swer, telling Band News while hid­ing her face from the cam­era that her son had been bul­lied at the school.

“Bul­ly­ing, they call it. … He stopped go­ing to school … be­cause of this,” she said.

She said she was sur­prised by his in­volve­ment and found out about the at­tack from the tele­vi­sion like every­one else.

Min­utes be­fore the at­tack, Mon­teiro had posted 26 pho­tos on his Face­book page, in­clud­ing sev­eral with guns and one that showed him giv­ing the mid­dle fin­ger as he looked into the cam­era.

In some of the pho­tos, he wore a black scarf with a white im­print of a skull and cross­bones. No text ac­com­pa­nied the posts.

By Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Face­book had taken down Mon­teiro’s page.

Dur­ing the at­tack, Mon­teiro opened fire with a .38-cal­iber hand­gun and de Cas­tro used a cross­bow, de Cam­pos said, adding that foren­sics would de­ter­mine how the vic­tims died.

The at­tack­ers were also car­ry­ing Molo­tov cock­tails, knives and axes, au­thor­i­ties said.

“In 34 years as a po­lice­man, it’s the first time I see some­one use a cross­bow like that,” po­lice Col. Marcelo Salles said. “It is hor­ren­dous.”

The at­tack­ers were try­ing to force their way in­side a room at the back of the school where many stu­dents were hid­ing when po­lice ar­rived. In­stead of fac­ing po­lice, they turned their weapons on them­selves, au­thor­i­ties said.

Kelly Mi­lene Guerra Car­doso, 16, said she and other stu­dents took refuge in the school’s cafe­te­ria, locked the door and lay on the floor.

“We stayed there un­til the door was opened. We thought it was the shoot­ers com­ing to get us, but it was the po­lice,” she said. “They told us to start run­ning.”

The Raul Brasil Pro­fes­sor pub­lic school has more than 1,600 stu­dents from ele­men­tary to high school grades, teach­ers gath­ered out­side said.

Latin Amer­ica’s most pop­u­lous na­tion has the largest num­ber of an­nual homi­cides in the world, but school shoot­ings are rare.

In 2011, 12 stu­dents were killed by a gun­man who roamed the halls of a school in Rio de Janeiro, shoot­ing at them.

Pres­i­dent Jair Bol­sonaro ran on a plat­form that in­cluded prom­ises to crack down on crim­i­nals, in part by ex­pand­ing pub­lic ac­cess to guns. Soon after his Jan. 1 in­au­gu­ra­tion, Bol­sonaro is­sued a de­cree mak­ing it eas­ier to buy a gun.

Sim­i­lar to ar­gu­ments made by pro­po­nents of re­duced gun reg­u­la­tion in the United States, Bol­sonaro and his sup­port­ers ar­gue that ex­panded ac­cess to guns will com­bat crime.

AP/AN­DRE PEN­NER

AP/AN­DRE PEN­NER

A stu­dent cries Wed­nes­day out­side the Raul Brasil school in Suzano, Brazil, after a shoot­ing that au­thor­i­ties said left 9 peo­ple dead, in­clud­ing the two gun­men.

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