Six students, two school officials, and a worker were killed in the attack, this Wednesday morning. The shooting happened in the Raul Brasil state school in the city of Suzano, part of metropolitan São Paulo.
Around 9 am, local time, the two shooters stopped by a car dealership near the school. One of the attacker’s uncle, the owner of the establishment, was shot and killed. From there, the men proceeded to the school, wearing masks. At the time, high school students were outside their classrooms, in break time.
According to the State Public Safety Secretary in a press conference, the shooters, aged 17 and 25, were identified as former students of Raul Brasil state school. They committed suicide after the attack, leaving 17 other people injured, most of them children. According to the 2017 school census, there are approximately 1,000 students enrolled per year.
A witness stated that they were armed with a gun and a knife, and the police found many more weapons inside the school. The reasons for the attack are still unknown. Police searched the attacker’s house to apprehend objects and uncover their motivation, but have not yet announced their findings.
The attack happened almost two months after the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, loosened gun possession rules in the country. The decree signed by the president on January 15, 2019, allows citizens without a criminal record to keep firearms at home. The decision sparked intense political and social debate, with over 78,4 thousand tweets about the decree on the day it was signed. According to a study on global mortality from firearms published in 2018, Brazil is the country with the biggest numbers of deaths caused by firearm injuries.