By: Kenzie Jansonius
Eight people were killed in a high school near São Paulo, Brazil after the nation’s second school shooting since 2011. Although the nation’s murder rates are sky high in comparison to other countries, school shootings are relatively uncommon. The two attackers, both former students of the school, opened fire on students during a break using a .38 revolver, a crossbow, an axe and bow and arrows. They also carried fake explosives. “In 34 years of service, I have never seen [an attack] with a crossbow. It is totally unthinkable.” Local police chief Colonel Marcelo Salles told reporters. The attackers, Guilherme Taucci Monteiro, 17, and Henrique de Castro, 25, committed suicide when police arrived on the scene. Thousands attended a wake for the victims two days after the shooting took place. No motive for the killings has been discovered, but investigators believe that Monteiro had been planning the attack for over a year. Just minutes before the attack, the 17-year-old posted photos where he was wearing a mask with a skull and carrying a gun. Officers also found a notebook in their vehicle that contained drawings of weapons and disturbing slogans. One that showed up repeatedly was a drawing of the words “Can’t run.” While we may never really understand why these former students opened fire on former classmates and teachers, Monteiro’s mother told investigators and the press that her son had been the victim of bullying because of his acne. One of Monteiro’s friends told reporters that he was being harassed by a fellow student. Rossieli Soares, Säo Paulo’s education secretary, tells a different story. He told the press that Monteiro had studied at the school for nearly two years and “had never caused any trouble.” Calls for stricter laws on firearms are being made by the families of the victims and by politicians such as Flávio Bolsonaro in the wake of this terrible incident.