According to local authorities, a man wielding a hatchet killed at least four young children in a kindergarten in the southern Brazilian city of Blumenau.
The 25-year-old man who invaded the creche at around 09:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Wednesday injured four more children.
One of the children is said to be in a critical condition.
Police told local media that the attacker had surrendered and was in police custody.
In a statement, military police said that the assailant turned himself in at one of the town’s stations.
According to firefighters, three boys and one girl were killed.
They said they were between the ages of five and seven.
At the time of the attack, around 40 children were inside the Cantinho Bom Pastor nursery, which translates as Good Shepherd.
They went on to say that the attacker had jumped over a wall to gain access to the privately run kindergarten.
He had apparently targeted the victims at random.
A teacher described it as “a scene you’d never expect to see in your life.”
She told reporters gathered outside the building that she had successfully locked some of the youngest children in one of the rooms.
To protect them from the assailant.
She stated that, in addition to a hatchet, the man carried other weapons, but she did not specify what they were.
As word of the incident spread, parents rushed to the kindergarten.
Blumenau’s schools have been closed until at least tomorrow, according to city officials.
The governor of the state of Santa Catarina, where Blumenau is located, has declared three days of mourning.
This is not the first time a school in the state has been attacked.
An 18-year-old man murdered two staff members and three infants in a creche in the municipality of Saudades in 2021.
The incident also occurs just ten days after a teenager stabbed a teacher to death and injured four other people at a school in São Paulo.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva tweeted that “there is no greater pain than that of a family that loses its children or grandchildren,
Even more so when it’s through an act of violence against innocent children who can’t defend themselves”.
The city has about 360,000 inhabitants and is a popular destination for visitors interested in the region’s German heritage.
Source: BBC News