Brazil school shooting: At least 3 dead and 11 injured


At least three people were killed and 11 others wounded on Friday after a gunman opened fire at two schools in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo, according to local authorities.

The attacks took place in the small town of Aracruz, 50 miles north of the state capital Vitoria.

The alleged shooter – who was seen on security footage carrying a semi-automatic weapon, dressed in military fatigues and with a mask over his face – has been arrested by police. The suspect has not yet been identified by authorities, but local media, including CNN affiliate CNN Brasil, have reported that the person is 16 years old.

Espirito Santo Governor Renato Casagrande confirmed in a Twitter post on Friday that “security teams have caught up with the attacker who cowardly attacked two schools in Aracruz. I declared three days of official mourning to mourn the irreparable losses. We will continue to investigate the causes and will have further clarifications soon.”

The governor said the attacks took place at the Primo Bitti school and the Praia de Coqueiral education center.

Police officers on scene at Primo Bitti School on Friday.

Speaking to the media, Public Safety Minister Marcio Celante said police believed the suspect acted alone based on security footage, but acknowledged further investigation was needed to establish more details about the incidents.

Celante also revealed some of what the security video shows.

“The first punitive action was entering a school by breaking the padlock. He had access to the teacher’s room,” Celante said, adding that he “then moved to another school where he made more victims.”

Brazil’s newly elected president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, called the incident an “absurd tragedy.”

“I am saddened to be informed of the attacks at the Aracruz schools in Espirito Santo. My solidarity goes out to the family of the victims in this absurd tragedy,” Lula tweeted.

Local residents gather outside the police station where the alleged perpetrator of two school shootings in Aracruz is being held.

“I support Governor Casagrande in investigating the case and reassuring the communities surrounding the two affected schools,” he added.

Brazilian Minister Victor Godoy also joined his government colleagues in expressing his condolences.

“My condolences to the parents, relatives and staff of Primo Bitti State Primary and Secondary School and Praia de Coqueiral Education Center in Aracruz. I put on record my denial of this act of violence,” Godoy wrote on Twitter.


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