A gunman opened fire on two schools in Brazil’s Espirito Santo state on Friday, killing at least three people and wounding 11, local authorities said.
The attacks took place in the small town of Aracruz, 50 miles north of the state capital Vitoria.
The gunman, who was seen on security footage wearing a military uniform and mask, was arrested by police. Authorities have not yet identified the suspect, but local media outlets including CNN and CNN Brasil have reported that the man is only 16 years old.
On Twitter on Friday, Espirito Santo governor Renato Casagrande said: “Security teams have confirmed the capture of the attacker who cowardly attacked two schools in Aracruz. I have declared three days of official mourning as a sign of grief for the irreparable losses. We will continue to investigate the cause and will have new explanations soon.”
The governor said the attacks took place at the Primo Bitti school and the Praia de Coqueiral Educational Centre.
Speaking to the media, Public Security Minister Marcio Celante said he believes the suspect acted alone based on security video, but admitted that further investigation is needed to find out more details about the incident.
Celante also revealed some of what was shown in the security video.
“The first crime was to break the lock and enter the school. “He gained access to the teachers’ room,” Celante said, “and then moved to another school where he housed more victims.”
Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the incident a senseless tragedy.
“I am saddened to hear about the attack at the Aracruz school in Espirito Santo. My solidarity goes out to the families of the victims in this senseless tragedy,” Lula tweeted.
“My support goes to Governor Casagrande to investigate the case and comfort the communities surrounding the two affected schools,” he added.
Brazil’s Minister Victor Godoy also expressed his condolences with his government institutions.
“My condolences to the parents, relatives and staff of Primo Bitti State Primary and Secondary School and Praia de Coqueiral Educational Center in Aracruz. I submit a record of denying this act of violence,” Godoy wrote on Twitter.