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Brazil: a young person breaks into two schools and kills at least three people

The shooting occurred in Aracruz, a city of 100,000 people, about 600 kilometers northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

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Brazil: a young person breaks into two schools and kills at least three people

The shooting occurred in Aracruz, a city of 100,000 people, about 600 kilometers northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Three teachers and an unspecified student are in serious condition, authorities said.

With his face covered and a swastika on his camouflage clothing, the assailant broke into Primo Bitti School, a public primary and secondary school he had left in June, according to investigators.

After breaking through the gate at the back of the school, he went into the staff lounge and opened fire on several teachers, killing two people and injuring nine others, authorities said.

CCTV footage released by the media shows the young man entering the school with a gun in hand, while several people flee in his wake. We see him firing a few shots, without stopping.

He then went, not far from there, to the Praia de Coqueiral Education Center, a private school, where he killed a teenager and injured two people, before being arrested by the police.

"He had no specific target" when he opened fire, Civil Police Commissioner Joao Francisco Filho told a press conference, but he had been planning the attack for "two years", at his words.

The two guns he used belong to his father, a police officer, and one was the latter's service weapon, authorities said. They are investigating whether the young man, who was under "psychiatric treatment", had links with one or more extremist groups.

He was arrested at his home a few hours after the incident and, with the cooperation of the parents, surrendered without offering any resistance.

The mayor of Aracruz, Luis Carlos Coutinho, initially told CBN radio that there had been two assailants.

The governor of the state of Espirito Santo, Renato Casagrande, has declared three days of mourning.

- "Absurd tragedy" -

President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the killing an "absurd tragedy" on Twitter. "I express my solidarity with the relatives of the victims and I support the governor for an investigation," said the left-wing leader who will take office on January 1.

Lula has campaigned against the dramatic explosion in gun ownership and carrying licenses under outgoing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro since January 2019.

“Gun policy needs to be reviewed,” tweeted Senator Wellington Dias, an ally of Lula.

"The last four years are the ones where we have seen the most attacks in schools, at least since the early 2000s," Bruno Langeani, project manager at the Instituto Sou da Paz, told AFP. “We are convinced that the better access to weapons in recent years under the Bolsonaro government has facilitated these types of attacks,” he added.

According to the Brazilian NGO Public Security Forum, there are approximately 4.4 million weapons in private possession in this country of 215 million inhabitants.

However, school shootings remain relatively rare in Brazil, a huge yet violent country.

The deadliest took place on April 7, 2011, when a 24-year-old man opened fire at his former school in the western suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, killing 12 students, before committing suicide.

More recently, on March 13, 2019, two former students shot and killed eight people and injured 11 others before killing themselves at a college in Suzano, in the Sao Paulo region.

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