12 children were killed in Brazil school massacre

A gunman opened fire at an elementary and middle school in Brazil Thursday and 12 children were killed and 12 others were injured.

According to the New York Times, the Brazil police said that the 24-year-old gunman, Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, was a former student at the Tasso da Silveira elementary and middle school, a three-story aqua-and-yellow schoolhouse in the working-class neighborhood of Realengo, on the west side of Rio. He told a teacher who recognized him that he was there to speak to a class.

The police said Oliveira arrived at the school about 8 a.m. and he held two handguns and started to open fire violently in two first-floors classrooms after minutes. The children started to run, hide, and escape from the school. One boy escaped from the school and found a police officer, Sgt. Marcio Alves, near the school and ask him to help, the New York Times reported.

The statement from Rio de Janeiro state governor's office said Alves then arrived at the school and he shot the gunman. After Oliveira fell, he shot himself in the head, the CNN reported.

The deceased included 10 girls and 2 boys, ages 12 to 14. The shooting was planned since the police officers had found a letter in Oliveira's pocket showed that he intended to die, the New York Times reported. In the letter, he asked to be buried in Islamic traditional way and he wanted his burial to be near his adopted mother.

Students and family members were shocked by this massacre. The Rio's mayor, Eduardo Paes, said that the school would remain closed on Friday. However, Bianca Assia, whose cousin was wounded in this incident, doubted the school can be reopened. She said what mother will allow her child to go back there. Also, she said the state had to provide more security in the schools, the New York Times reported.

According to the CNN, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said she was shocked by the attack. She said this type of crime was uncommon in Brazil, and she considered that all of the Brazilians are united in rejecting this type of violence.

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