As many as 20 pupils are feared dead after a gunman opened fire in a primary school in western Rio de Janeiro.
The vice-mayor of western Rio said 12 people had died in the shooting at Tasso da Silveira primary school, although it was not clear if that figure was accurate or included the attacker. Edmar Teixeira said the gunman was a 24-year-old former student who pretended to be giving a speech to students before opening fire with two handguns. When police appeared at the scene the gunman shot himself dead, Teixeira said. He left behind a letter outlining his motives.
One witness told the Guardian he had seen between 15 and 20 children dead or seriously wounded.
“It is a massacre, a true massacre,” said Roni de Macedo, a fireman who arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting began and dragged eight seriously injured children from the school.
“There is blood on the walls, blood on the chairs. There are 15 to 20 dead I think,” said De Macedo, who was covered in blood. “I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like something in the United States.”