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Old 03-13-2019, 09:44 AM
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Default At least seven dead after masked men open fire on Brazil elementary school


At least seven dead after masked men open fire on Brazil elementary school
By Yaron Steinbuch
March 13, 2019 | 11:13am | Updated March 13, 2019 | 12:17pm

Two masked men burst into a Brazilian elementary school and opened fire Wednesday — killing six children and two teachers , and wounding at least 17 others before taking their own lives, officials said.

The governor of Sao Paulo said the hooded attackers, believed to be between 20 and 25 years old, were carrying several weapons when they entered the Professor Raul Brasil school in Suzano in southern Brazil.

Gov. João Doria, who said authorities don’t believe the assailants were former students, tweeted that the victims had been “cruelly murdered.”

“I was in the classroom during our break. I thought [the sound] was from bombs. When I realized they were gunshots, I stayed there. I only left when the police arrived,” teacher Sandra Perez told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

Student Maria Paula Guimaraes de Lima, 16, said she thought the noise was from small explosives.

“I was leaving the bathroom when I heard an explosive noise, but I thought it was the boys playing firecrackers, they always do that, but I heard another 10, 15 explosions and then I realized they were shots,” she told the newspaper.

Juliano Simões de Santana, who lives near the school, told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper: “When I arrived at the school… it was chaotic. Teachers, workers, everybody was running.”

One of those wounded was 15-year-old Leticia Melo, who was shot in the back, her cousin Matheus Henrique Nunes, 23, told Estado.

“She was taken on a stretcher and was awake. She did not say anything, but I could see she was scared,” he said.

Police told Globo TV that another shooting took place nearby shortly before the killings at the school, which about 1,000 students attend, but it was not yet clear if the two incidents were related.

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

The last major school shooting in the country was in 2011, when 12 children were shot dead by a former pupil in Rio de Janeiro.
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