Gunman kills students at Brazilian schools, then kills self
Eleven students killed, at least 18 injured in tragedy
A gunman killed 11 students and injured at least 18 more at a Rio de Janeiro school before taking his own life, officials said. The gunman was later identified as 23-year-old Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, a former student at the Tasso da Silveira Municipal School.
Police guarded the perimeter of a school in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday after a gunman opened fire, killing at least 12 people.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Authorities first became aware of the massacre after a military policeman was approached by a student who had been shot in the face. He told authorities that there was a shooter at the school.
Police entered the building and heard shooting on the second floor and found Menezes de Oliveira walking up the stairs to the third floor.
Police shot Menezes de Oliveira in the leg, causing him to fall on the stairs, whereupon he shot himself in the head.
"He was determined to commit suicide after the tragedy," Col. Djalma Beltrami told Globo television. Ten girls and one boy between the ages of 12 and 14 died from bullet wounds mostly to the head and chest, the state health and civil defense department said, and four more remained in serious condition.
Menezes de Oliveira had reportedly entered the school in the morning armed with two handguns and began shooting at children and school personnel. There were reports that he had left a letter behind that mentioned he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Injured students were transported to the Albert Schweitzer Hospital. Helicopters were waiting in an adjacent field, ready to transport the more seriously injured to other facilities.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said she was "shocked" by the attack and had "great concern" about the incident.
As the president addressed an event in the capital, Brasilia, after the shooting, she became visibly emotional when asking those present to observe a minute of silence for the victims.
"Today we lament what happened with the defenseless children in Realengo," she said. "This type of crime is not characteristic of our country. "All of us here, men and women, are united to repudiate this type of violence."
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: School shooting, gunman, students, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
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