At least 3 people killed and 11 others injured in Brazil school shootings (Source: Reuters)
The tragic shooting inside a high school in the city of Santa Maria, Brazil, on Wednesday has left at least 10 people dead and 21 injured. The shooting broke out during a graduation ceremony for the student body, who were making their entrance into the school. One gunman then opened fire in a classroom as the other students were entering it. Police say they believe it was a terrorist attack.
According to the Associated Press, the shooting took place at the Santa Maria State University (FAMAS) High School, located some distance from the city center.
The school is about 90 miles from Sao Paulo, the state capital. School shootings have been a very rare occurrence in Brazil. The country has a well established history of gun laws and gun ownership is legal (some restrictions remain). School shootings are much more common in other big cities in Brazil.
Police say the gunman was killed in a shootout with the police, who rushed to the scene.
CNN reported that the police had surrounded the building where the school was, and that the gunfire erupted when the police entered the school.
The news agency reported that there were a total of 11 deaths at this time:
Police spokesman Edson Ribeiro told The Associated Press that the student was the suspected gunman and the police were involved in the shooting after a tip-off from the public. He said the police took four people — all of them students — into custody. He did not give their names and gave no further details. He said at least 21 people were injured and four of them were in serious condition and being kept in the state hospital in São Gonçalo.
Authorities began investigating who was behind the shooting, with authorities telling Reuters they were “working hard to narrow down the suspect’s possible motives and links.”
The local police chief, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect the investigation, said that the state police and the federal police will provide support in the investigation