Four children are killed in pre-school axe attack in southern Brazil
A 25-year-old man attacked a Santa Catarina preschool on Wednesday, April 5. Four children were killed and four others were injured.
The police said that the attacker had been apprehended, but did not provide further details.
The 25-year-old man, named locally as Luiz Henrique de Lima, arrived at the pre-school in Blumenau, southern Brazil, on a motorbike before going on a horrifying rampage, attacking the children who were playing in a park behind the school.
Local media reported that the victims were four-year-old children Bernardo Pabest da Cunha, Enzo Marchesin Barosa, and Bernardo Cunha Machado. Larissa MaiaToldo was seven years old.
A fifth child is said to be in a serious condition, while three other casualties were taken to Santo Antonio Hospital. The hospital confirmed that children, aged between ‘zero and two-years-old’, had arrived for treatment.
The tragic attack was carried out at the CEI Cantinho do Bom Pastor pre-school in the Velha neighbourhood of Blumenau at around 9am local time (12:00GMT).
As emergency services rushed to the scene, Henrique de Lima was arrested soon after turning himself in at a state police station.
Images broadcast on television showed weeping parents outside the private daycare centre, known as the Good Shepherd Center, while motorists were seen racing through red lights to get to the scene.
Governor Jorginho Mello confirmed the tragedy and expressed his condolences in a statement: ‘It is with great sadness that I receive the regrettable news that the private day care centre Cantinho do Bom Pastor, in Blumenau, has been invaded by an assassin who attacked children and staff.
‘Unfortunately, four died. I immediately determined the action of our security forces, who are already on the spot. The killer is already arrested.
‘I leave here my full solidarity. May God comfort the heart of all families in this moment of deep pain.’
Amid rumours on social media of other potential attacks, Blumenau’s mayor, Mario Hildebrandt, said the city suspended classes and will declare a 30-day mourning period.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also condemned the attack as a ‘monstrosity.’
‘There is no greater pain than a family that loses children or grandchildren, even more so when it is in an act of violence against innocent and defenseless children,’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families… For any human being who has the Christian feeling, a tragedy like this is unacceptable, a behavior, an absurd act of hate and cowardice like this.’
The State Board of Criminal Investigations has confirmed it will lead the investigation for the savage attack.