At least three people were killed and 11 others wounded in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo on Friday when a gunman opened fire at two schools, local authorities said.
The attacks took place in the small town of Aracrus, 50 miles north of the state capital Vitoria.
The alleged shooter, who was seen on security footage carrying a semi-automatic weapon, wearing military fatigues and a face covering, was arrested by police. Authorities have not yet identified a suspect, but local media, including CNN affiliate CNN Brasil, have reported that the person is a 16-year-old.
Espirito Santo Governor Renato Casagrande confirmed in a post on Twitter on Friday that “security teams caught up with the attacker who cowardly attacked two schools in Aracrus. I declared three days of official mourning as a sign of grief for the irreparable loss. We will continue to investigate the reasons and will have new explanations soon.
The governor said the attacks took place at the Primo Bitti school and the Praia de Coqueiral education center.
Speaking to the media, Public Security Minister Marcio Celante said police believe the suspect acted alone based on security video, but acknowledged further investigation is needed to uncover more details of the incidents.
Celante also revealed some security videos.
“The first criminal act was entering the school by breaking the lock. He had access to the staff room,” Celante said, adding that “after that he moved to another school where he made more victims.”
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the incident an “absurd tragedy”.
“I was informed with sadness of the attacks on Aracrus schools in Espirito Santo. My solidarity goes out to the families of the victims of this absurd tragedy,” Lula tweeted.
“I am counting on Governor Casagrande to investigate the case and comfort the communities surrounding the two affected schools,” he added.
Brazilian minister Victor Godoy also joined his government peers in offering condolences.
“Condolences to the parents, relatives and staff of Primo Bitti State Primary and Secondary School and Praia de Coqueiral Education Center in Aracrus. I put on record my refusal of this manifestation of violence,” Godoy wrote on Twitter.