Shooting at Rio Primary School Leaves at Least 12 Dead

April 7, 2011 Updated: April 7, 2011

A gunman shot and killed at least 12 children and adults at a primary school in Rio de Janeiro before shooting himself on Thursday.

A further 20 were injured in the attack at Tasso da Silveira school in the Realengo district in the western part of the city.

The killer was identified as Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, 24, a former student at the school, the official Agencia Brasil news agency reported.

Oliveira, a former student, came to the school on the pretense of giving a speech to students, before opening fire with two handguns, the Guardian newspaper reported.

One eyewitness said that he had seen 15-20 dead children. “It is a massacre, a true massacre," Roni de Macedo, a fireman who helped manage the crisis told the paper.

“There is blood on the walls, blood on the chairs. There are 15 to 20 dead I think. I've never seen anything like this. It's like something in the United States.”

Sky news reported that the man had been shot in the leg by police before turning the gun on himself. Several news media reported that the man was carrying a hand-written suicide note.