Sao Paulo school shooting: 8 children and two adult killed in Brazil

by Garry Watts March 14, 2019, 1:28

Sao Paulo state authorities say eight people have been killed in a school shooting in Brazil, including two student shooters.

Five children are reportedly among the dead, as well as a school employee and a passerby.

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

The school has about 1000 primary and secondary students aged between six and 18, and a language centre.

Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria said on Twitter the "children were cruelly murdered".

A student reacts in front of the Raul Brasil school after a shooting in Suzano, Sao Paulo state, Brazil March 13, 2019.

Doria said the school had been evacuated and police were inspecting possible explosives left by the shooters.

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In 2011, 12 students were killed by a gunman who roamed the halls of a school in Rio de Janeiro, shooting at them.

Teacher Sandra Perez told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper: "I was in the classroom during our break". I thought [the sound] was from bombs.

Police said the two men, who they did not believe were former students at the school, entered the building and started shooting at about 9:30 a.m. local time.

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.

Gun laws are strict in Brazil, but it is not hard to purchase a weapon illegally.

The public school, Raul Brasil Professor, has more than 1,600 students from elementary to high school grades, teachers gathered outside said.

Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro recently announced that gun ownership controls would be loosened.

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