Eight Killed in Brazil School Shooting
Two gunmen opened fire at a school in Brazil, killing eight people , five of which were students. The two attackers were former students of the school, but their motive is still unknown. Despite high homicide rates, mass shootings are rare in Brazil, and the attack has ignited a debate about whether or not access […]
- Two gunmen opened fire at a school in Brazil, killing eight
people ,five of whichwere students.
- The two attackers were former students of the school, but their motive is still unknown.
- Despite high homicide rates, mass shootings are rare in Brazil, and the attack has ignited a debate about whether or not access to guns causes more violence.
Shooting at Raul Brasil
At least ten people are dead after two attackers opened fire at a school near São Paulo, Brazil on Wednesday.
Security camera footage showed two men wearing ski masks entering the Raul Brasil school in
It has been confirmed that the attackers killed at least eight people before killing themselves.
Five of those killed were students, all of whom were around 15-years-old, according to police. Two of the other people that were killed were employees at the school.
Before entering the school, the attackers also shot and killed the owner of a rental car agency and stole a car. It was later discovered that the owner of the agency was the uncle of one of the attackers.
The number of people who were injured is unclear at this time. The New York Times and the Associated Press have reported that nine people were injured, while Voice of America and Vice reported over 23 injuries.
Police arrived at the school about eight minutes after the shooting started, but the men had already killed themselves.
According to police, the assailants brought a handgun, a crossbow, a hatchet, knives, and Molotov cocktails.
Motive Still Unknown
The motive behind the attack is still unknown.
Shortly after the shooting, it was revealed that the men were both former students at the school. They were 17 and 25 years old.
The 17-year-old was said to have been enrolled at Raul Brasil as recently as last
Following the attack, his mother told a Brazilian newspaper that her son had been bullied at school, reportedly saying, “Bullying, they call it. … He stopped going to school … because of this.”
She also said she was surprised he was involved in the shooting and only found out about the attack from the televvision coverage.
Just minutes before the shooting, he posted 26 photos on his Facebook page, including several with a gun.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that police said the attack was inspired by the 1999 attack on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado,
According to an investigator who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, the former students spent more than a year planning their attack which they “Hoped would draw more attention than the Columbine massacre.”
The attack has prompted a broad response from a wide range of Brazilian politicians and political figures.
During a press conference at the school, the governor of São Paulo, João Doria, stated: “This is the saddest thing I have tended to in my whole life. I am very sad that an event such as this one happened in our country and here in São Paulo.”
Doria also reiterated his condolences for the victims and their families in a tweet, and stated that he “decreed official mourning for three days in the State of São Paulo.”
State Secretary of Education, Rossieli Soares, stated: “If only we could have identified the difficulties of these boys. This is a problem in our society.”
Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro also offered his condolences to the families in a tweet, describing the shooting as, “A monstrosity and cowardice without size.”
Gun Violence in Brazil
However, many people feel Bolsonaro’s statement is empty.
One of Bolsonaro’s main campaign promises was to crack down on criminals and violence, which he vowed to do in part by expanding public access to guns.
Sure enough, one of the first things he did after he was inaugurated in January was issue a decree that made it easier for Brazilian citizens to buy guns.
Wednesday’s shooting has started a debate among political leaders about gun control. Some people say arming teachers could have prevented the killings, while others have said easier access to guns will only lead to more deaths.
Brazil has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. According to a report from the Brazilian Forum of Public Saftey, Brazil saw over 63,800 violent deaths in 2017, which amounts to about 175 murders per day.
Brazil’s 2017 violent death rate marks the highest number of homicides in the country’s history.
Twenty percent of the deaths in 2017 were caused by the police, which comes out to about 14 police-related deaths per day.
Despite the country’s high homicide rates, mass shootings are rare in Brazil.
The last mass shooting was in 2011 when a 23-year-old man killed 12 teenagers at a school in Rio de Janeiro. That gunman was also a former student of the school in question.
Following yesterday’s shooting, pro-gun politicians were quick to defend looser regulations.
Flávio Bolsonaro, President Bolsonaro’s son, blamed the shooting on gun restriction rules introduced in 2003 that restrict the purchase and possession of guns in a tweet.
Sen. Major Olímpio, who is a member of Bolsonaro’s party and a well-known supporter of loosening gun legislation, also reiterated his stance on gun control in a tweet criticizing the “disarmament policy farce.”
However, research done by the Brazilian Government in 2014 shows that a 1 percent rise in gun accessibility increases the homicide rate by 2 percent.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Wednesday’s attack will affect gun policy in Brazil.
Editors Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murderers, or suspected mass murderers, to avoid giving these individuals the attention they may have wanted.
95-Year-Old Woman Dies After Police Tases Her in Nursing Home
The officer involved was suspended with pay and charged with assault.
A 95-year-old Australian woman whom police tasered in a nursing home last week has reportedly died from her injuries.
Clare Nowland, who had dementia and required a walking frame to stand up and move, was living at the Yallambee Lodge in Cooma in southeastern Australia.
At about 4:15 a.m. on May 17, police and paramedics responded to a report of a woman standing outside her room with a steak knife.
They encountered Nowland, then reportedly tried to negotiate with her for several minutes, but she didn’t drop the knife.
The five-foot-two, 95-pound woman walked toward the two officers “at a slow pace,” police said at a news conference, so one of them tasered her.
She fell to the floor and reportedly suffered a fractured skull and a severe brain bleed, causing her to be hospitalized in critical condition.
Nowland passed away in a hospital surrounded by her family, the New South Wales police confirmed in a statement today.
After a week-long investigation, the police force also said that the senior constable involved would appear in court next week to face charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.
NSW police procedure states that tasers should not be used against elderly or disabled people absent exceptional circumstances.
Following the incident, community members, activists, and disability rights advocates expressed bewilderment and anger at what they called an unnecessary use of force, and some are now questioning why law enforcement took so long to prosecute the officer involved.
See what others are saying: (Reuters) (The New York Times) (CNN)
U.K. Police Face Backlash After Arresting Anti-Monarchy Protesters
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that some of the arrests “raise questions” and “investigations are ongoing.”
The Public Order Act
A controversial protest crackdown law in the U.K. is facing criticism after dozens of anti-monarchy protesters were arrested during the coronation ceremony in London over the weekend.
The law, dubbed the “Public Order Act” was passed roughly a week ahead of the coronation for King Charles III. It gives police more power to restrict protesters and limits the tactics protesters can use in public spaces. It was condemned by human rights groups upon its passing, and is facing a new round of heat after 52 people were arrested over coronation protests on Saturday.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said protesters were arrested for public order offenses, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. The group said it gave advance warning that its “tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low and that we would deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining the celebration.”
It is currently unclear how many of those arrested were detained specifically for violating the Public Order Act, however, some of those arrested believe the new law was used against them.
“Make no mistake. There is no longer a right to peaceful protest in the UK,” Graham Smith, the CEO of anti-monarchy group Republic tweeted after getting arrested. “I have been told many times the monarch is there to defend our freedoms. Now our freedoms are under attack in his name.”
An Attempt to “Diminish” Protests
During a BBC Radio interview, Smith also said he believes the dozens of arrests were premeditated.
“There was nothing that we did do that could possibly justify even being detained and arrested and held,” Smith claimed.
“The whole thing was a deliberate attempt to disrupt and diminish our protest.”
Yasmine Ahmed, the U.K. Director of Human Rights Watch, also tweeted that the arrests were “disgraceful.”
“These are scenes you’d expect to see in Russia not the UK,” she wrote.
When asked about the controversy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters officers should do “what they think is best” in an apparent show of support for the Metropolitan Police.
For his part, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he is looking into the matter.
“Some of the arrests made by police as part of the Coronation event raise questions and whilst investigations are ongoing, I’ve sought urgent clarity from Met leaders on the action taken,” Khan tweeted.
See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (CNN) (The Washington Post)
Foreign Nationals Make Mad Dash out of Sudan as Conflict Rages
The conflict’s death toll has surpassed 420, with nearly 4,000 people wounded.
As the 10-day-long power struggle between rival generals tore Sudan apart, foreign governments with citizens in the country scrambled to evacuate them over the weekend.
On Sunday, U.S. special forces landed in the capital Khartoum and carried out nearly 100 American diplomats along with their families and some foreign nationals on helicopters.
An estimated 16,000 Americans, however, remain in the country and U.S. officials said in a statement that a broader evacuation mission would be too dangerous.
Christopher Maier, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity warfare, said in a statement that the Pentagon may assist U.S. citizens find safe routes out of Sudan.
“[The Defense Department] is at present considering actions that may include use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to be able to observe routes and detect threats,” he said.
Germany and France also reportedly pulled around 700 people out of the country.
More countries followed with similar efforts, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Indonesia.
Yesterday, a convoy carrying some 700 United Nations, NGO, and embassy staff drove to Port Sudan, a popular extraction point now that the airport in Khartoum has closed due to fighting.
Reports of gunmen prowling the capital streets and robbing people trying to escape, as well as looters breaking into abandoned homes and shops, have persuaded most residents to stay indoors.
Heavy gunfire, airstrikes, and artillery shelling have terrorized the city despite several proposed ceasefires.
Over the weekend, the reported death toll topped 420, with nearly 4,000 people injured, though both numbers are likely to be undercounted.