Man kills four children, injures five with ax at pre-school in Brazil
The victims were aged between 3 and 7, including three boys and one girl, according to officials. One of the victims that survived remains in critical condition at the hospital
April 6, 2023 9:26am
Updated: April 6, 2023 9:26am
Four children died and five others were injured after a man attacked a daycare center in southern Brazil with an ax on Wednesday.
The attack took place in the city of Blumenau, in Southern Brazil, near the Atlantic coast. The man got into the school by jumping over a wall and slashed the victims at the facility’s playground, according to a local news outlet.
The victims were aged between 3 and 7, including three boys and one girl, according to officials. One of the victims that survived remains in critical condition at the hospital.
The male assailant fled after the attack but turned himself into the police, according to security chief Marcio Alberto Filippi.
Police believe the suspect, a 25-year-old man from the neighboring state of Parana, did not have any connection with the daycare before the attack. Authorities are still looking for a motive, according to Ronnie Esteves, the police detective leading the investigation.
The suspect will be charged with murder and attempted murder. Police have yet to confirm his identity.
Blumenau’s mayor, Mario Hildebrand, declared a 30-day mourning period and suspended classes after the attack.
"A tragedy like this is unacceptable, an absurd act of hate and cowardice ... an act of violence against innocent and defenseless children," Lula said in a Twitter post.
“There is no greater pain than that of a family that loses its children or grandchildren, even more so in an act of violence against innocent and defenseless children,” Lula continued.
School attacks have been occurring with greater frequency in Brazil over the past few years. There have been at least 16 attacks or violent episodes at schools in the country between 2000 to 2022, four of which happened in the second half of last year, according to a report by professors at the University of Sao Paulo. Just last week, a Brazilian student fatally stabbed a teacher and wounded several others in the city of Sao Paulo.
According to one of the researchers involved in the report, Daniel Cara, there is no single factor that explains the rise in attacks. Cara, however, believes that the motives of the assailants stem from “a crisis of perspective” that has to do with economic problems and/or likely bullying and harassment.