Saturday, June 3, 2023

Man with hatchet kills 4 youngsters at Brazilian childcare place, hands himself over to police later

A man armed with a small axe has attacked a daycare in southern Brazil, killing four children and injuring five others on Wednesday, police said.

The 25-year-old man fled after teachers came to the children’s defense, and later turned himself into police, security chief Marcio Alberto Filippi told reporters.

Police said three boys – two aged 4 and one aged 5 – and one girl aged 7 were killed.

Four of the injured children between the ages of 3 to 5 were being treated in a hospital and were reported in stable condition, while a fifth child had minor injuries, police were quoted by news agency Reuters as saying.

Fearing their children might be among the victims, parents rushed to the day-care center in the city of Blumenau in the state of Santa Catarina, as police and firefighters investigated the situation.

“Thank God my daughter was not among the victims,” the father of a child was quoted by Reuters as saying. “She is fine physically, but emotionally destroyed. How am I going to get this out of her head?” he added.

According to the police, the attacker had a history of violence and drugs, and had stabbed his stepfather in March 2021.

The event took place more than a week after a 13-year-old student carried out a stabbing attack in a Sao Paulo school that killed a teacher and left five others wounded.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the attack a “monstrosity.”

“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.

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