MEXICO CITY – Authorities in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila said on Friday that two people, including the shooter, were killed and six others wounded when an 11-year-old boy opened fire at his school, with the state’s governor suggesting the incident was inspired by a video game.
The shooting took place in the city of Torreon when the assailant, identified as Jose Angel Ramos, entered a classroom at the Cervantes elementary school, where he killed his teacher, Maria Medina, and wounded six other people before killing himself, police said.
“We are already investigating, but even the boy’s father does not know how he had access to the weapon,” Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office representative Maurilio Ochoa said.
Coahuila Gov. Miguel Riquelme said that “apparently, the boy was influenced by a video game called ‘Natural Selection,’ even his shirt had the name of the videogame at the bottom.”
Other media outlets reported, however, that one of the assailants in the infamous 1999 Columbine High School massacre also wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the words Natural Selection.
Riquelme said that the boy had told some of his classmates “today is the day.”
“His teacher had gone looking for him and saw that the kid came out, shooting two guns, injuring five of his classmates, the teacher and afterwards shooting himself,” he said.
Riquelme also confirmed that Ramos lived with his grandparents.
“We will keep an eye on the minor’s atmosphere, they say he wasn’t a problematic student, he was even good, but today he told some of his classmates ‘today is the day,’” Riquelme said.
The Public Education Secretariat said in a statement that it “deeply regretted” the acts of violence and expressed solidarity with the families of the deceased and wounded.
In a statement, Education Secretary Esteban Moctezuma Barragan said that the next general meeting of the National Council of Educational Authorities (Conaedu) would address the issue of violence prevention in public and private schools.
The mayor of Torreon, Jorge Zermeño Infante, told the media that the investigation would be carried out by the prosecutor’s office.
As a precautionary measure, Zermeño recommended that other schools in the city “check children’s backpacks” and notify authorities when they detect strange behavior in a minor.
According to sources close to the student, the child, who was in the sixth grade, had good grades and was outstanding.
After the shooting, National Guard members, civil, state, municipal and Metropolitan Police officers were placed around the area to protect students, parents and teachers.
The Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en Mexico (Network for Children’s Rights in Mexico) recently published a study showing that an average of 3.6 children and teenagers die every day due to violence.
Three years ago, at the beginning of 2017, a student from a high school in Monterrey, a city in northern Mexico, also attacked his school, wounding five people.