RIO DE JANEIRO – One of the 13 students wounded in a shooting at a Rio de Janeiro school has died, bringing to 12 the number of children killed by the gunman, officials said.
The Rio de Janeiro Public Safety Secretariat said that a 13-year-old boy admitted to Saracuruna de la Baixada Fluminense Hospital “succumbed to his wounds.”
The tragedy occurred Thursday at the Tasso da Silveira municipal school in Realengo, a teeming neighborhood on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro where an apparently mentally unbalanced former student opened fire on children who were just starting classes for the day, before committing suicide when he was wounded by police.
More than 400 students were at the school when shots rang out between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
Neighborhood residents and anxious parents crowded around the school’s entrance, awaiting news from police.
The parents of some of the victims went into shock when they learned that their children were among the dead and wounded.
Paramedics used ambulances and helicopters to transport seriously wounded children to hospitals.
President Dilma Rousseff was in tears as she condemned the massacre.
The fatalities now number 10 girls and two boys between the ages of 12 and 14.
Another 12 students who were wounded were taken to different hospitals in the area and some remain in serious condition.
The attacker, identified as Wellington Menezes Oliveira, 23, had once been a student at the school and left a confused letter giving directions for his funeral, asking for pardon and indicating a certain religious fanaticism.
The former Tasso da Silveira student entered the building by saying he was attending a seminar at the school and was recognized by a teacher, eyewitnesses told police.
Oliveira, who was described by a former employer as “introverted and calm,” shot himself in the head as police closed in, the Rio de Janeiro Public Safety Secretariat said. EFE