Eight dead in Brazil school shooting


Sao Paulo (AFP)

A shooting at a school near Sao Paulo on Wednesday left eight people dead, state military police said, before the two shooters turned their weapons on themselves.

"Eight people died at the scene, including the two assailants who committed suicide," a state military police spokesman said.

"Two injured people died after being taken to hospital."

Around 15 people were injured in the shooting at the Raul Brasil public school in Suzano, south-east Brazil.

Website UO1 said the two killers, "probably teenagers, entered the school shooting with their heads covered by a hood."

Sao Paulo state Governor Joao Doria said four children and two members of staff were among the dead.

He said it was not yet known whether the two assailants were former pupils at the school.

Worried family members congregated outside the school alongside firefighters and security services, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

The attack took place at around 9:30 am (1230 GMT) during a recreation period for some students, authorities said.

Military police Colonel Marcelo Sales said the two attackers "shot at the owner of a gas station," who is now receiving hospital treatment, before entering the school.

Sales said the assailants used "a .38 calibre revolver and a medieval weapon that looked like a bow and arrows."

After shooting at students in the yard, the killers "headed to the language center" where several pupils were hiding and "committed suicide in a corridor," added Sales.

Globonews showed television pictures of pupils fleeing the scene after escaping over a wall.

Website G1 published a grainy video purportedly taken inside the school in which the screams of terrified pupils can be heard as they come across dead classmates.

It's not the first mass school shooting in Brazil's history.

In April 2011, a former pupil killed a dozen school children and injured many more before turning his gun on himself at a school in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world with 64,000 murders in 2017, a rate of almost 31 per 100,000 inhabitants -- that's three times higher than the level the United Nations classifies as endemic violence.

Far right President Jair Bolsonaro passed a law allowing people to carry arms soon after assuming power in January, delivering on a campaign promise.