News / Americas

11 Children Killed in Brazil School Shooting

A student tells her schoolmates that she saw dead bodies inside their school after a shooting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 7, 2011
A student tells her schoolmates that she saw dead bodies inside their school after a shooting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 7, 2011

Authorities in Brazil say a gunman has opened fire at an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro, killing at least 11 students before taking his own life.

Officials say the incident happened Thursday at the Tasso da Silveira Municipal School and that 10 girls and a boy were killed.  At least 13 other people were injured.  The shooter was identified as Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, a 23-year-old former student.  Authorities say he used two guns to carry out the attack and that prior to the shooting, he told authorities at the school he had arrived to give a speech.

The school was holding an event involving former students to celebrate its anniversary.

Police who arrived at the school exchanged fire with the gunman before he shot himself.

The motive for the shooting was not known, but authorities say the man left a note at the school.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff lamented the deaths of what she called "defenseless children" and asked for a minute of silence to honor the youngsters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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