Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

8 killed in mass shooting at southern Brazil school

8 killed in mass shooting at southern Brazil school

São Paulo police said two young men wearing masks entered the Raul Brasil elementary school at 9.30 am local time and fired guns while the children were on their snack break.

Marilene Gonçalves, a 51-year-old housewife, said she saw children fleeing the school, and that she gave safe harbour to several, including one boy who was shot in the jaw.

At least 17 other people, mostly children, were also shot and taken to hospitals, in which several are in serious condition.

Mr de Campos said police did not know why the pair attacked the school.

He said it was not yet known whether the two assailants were former pupils at the school.

Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world with 64,000 murders in 2017, a rate of nearly 31 per 100,000 inhabitants - that's three times higher than the level the United Nations classifies as endemic violence.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro made relaxing gun control a cornerstone of his campaign previous year.

"I heard a lot of screaming", she said.

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Children climbed and jumped over a wall that surrounds the school building, then sprinted down streets, screaming for help, security-camera footage from homes nearby showed.

In the 1999 attack on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, two students killed 13 people.

"A monstrosity and cowardness without equal", Bolsonaro wrote in a tweet expressing his sympathies for the families of the victims of Wednesday's attacks.

Gun laws have been extremely strict in Brazil since 2003 when former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva signed measures that prevented ordinary citizens from carrying guns.

Two gunmen have opened fire at a school in south-eastern Brazil, killing at least six students and two employees, officials say.

Five students, a teacher, and an administrator at the school were killed, said Joao Camilo Pires de Campos, the state's public secretary.

"It's a very sad scene, the saddest thing I've seen in my entire life".

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