Brazil Says Goodbye to Shooting Victims, Questions Mount

Brazil School Shooting

SUZANO, Brazil (AP) — Classmates, friends and relatives of the victims of a mass school shooting hugged, cried and prayed on Thursday as several thousand attended a wake in this devastated Sao Paulo suburb while authorities worked to uncover what drove two former students to attack with a gun, crossbows and axes.

Before 17-year-old Guilherme Taucci Monteiro and 25-year-old Henrique de Castro launched the school assault Wednesday, killing seven, police said they shot and killed a man who owned a used-car dealership nearby.

A relatives mourn Kaio Lucas da Costa Limeira, victim of the shooting at the Raul Brasil State School during a collective wake of the victims in Suzano, greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil, Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

What happened next at the K-12 school, partially caught on surveillance camera footage at the school’s entrance and widely distributed in Brazil, was stomach-churning.

It showed Monteiro entering the building and shooting several people in the head as they tried to run away. De Castro followed him, first striking wounded people with an ax and then swinging it wildly while scores of students ran past him. De Castro then armed his bow and walked further into the school.

The dead included five students, a teacher and a school administrator. Nine others were wounded in the attack, including seven still hospitalized Thursday.

“I couldn’t sleep. I have two children in school and they are about the age of the victims,” said Wanda Augusta, a 46-year-old homemaker attending the wake.

“If only we could have identified the difficulties of these boys” before the attack, said Rossieli Soares, the state education secretary, who attended the wake at a volleyball arena. “This is a problem in our society.”

Police seized computers and notebooks from the homes of the two attackers, who were neighbors and lived less than a mile (kilometer) from the school. They also took computers from an arcade near the school that the attackers frequented.

TV Globo, citing access to the preliminary police investigation, reported that the attackers had planned the crime for a year and did internet searches of mass shootings at U.S. schools. In particular, the two were interested in the Columbine massacre in Colorado in 1999, according to Globo. Police were expected to detail their investigation at a news conference later Thursday.

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Source:: Atlanta Black Star – News


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