RIO DE JANEIRO — A Brazilian gunman fatally shot 11 children at a Rio de Janeiro
school before killing himself, police said on Thursday, shocking the South
American nation that has never seen such an incident before.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
wept when commenting on the incident during a speech to business leaders and
requested a moment of silence for the victims.
“This type of crime is not
characteristic of (our) country and therefore we are all … united in
repudiating this act of violence,” Rousseff said.
The attack by the 24-year-old
Welington de Oliveira is Brazil’s first serial shooting at a school.
We have to show solidarity and
support for the families of the children (killed by) that psychopath, that
animal,” said Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral in a press conference
at the school in the Rio neighbourhood of Realengo.
Oliveira was a former student at
the school but his motive was not clear. Police said he did not have a criminal
Rio de Janeiro military police said
Oliveira entered the school carrying two guns and a suicide note. He told
officials he was there to deliver a speech and then opened fire on students.
At least 20 people were wounded,
several of them seriously.
Several of the 13 wounded children
fleeing to the street called a police patrol, which rushed to the school and
exchanged gunfire before Oliveira killed himself.