Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil expressed deep sadness over the worst school shooting in the country’s history.
“As pastor of this archdiocese, I deplore what happened. I am praying and uniting my sorrow with all those who were killed, and with their parents, families and friends,” the archbishop said in a statement following the massacre.
Fire department spokesman Evandro Bezerra explained that Wellington Menezes de Oliveira arrived at his former school “well dressed and carrying a backpack” the morning of April 7.
He told school officials “he had been invited to speak with the students for a conference,” Bezerra continued.
Once he was inside the school, Oliveira went to the building's third floor and began shooting. Two students managed to escape and located two police officers nearby, the Associated Press reported.
The officers ran into the school, shooting the gunman in the leg. Oliveira then turned the gun on himself.
Twelve students were killed and 12 others were wounded in the rampage.
Bezerra added that Oliveira “came to the school prepared to do what he did. The letter that was found on him is something that no normal person would write. It is an incomprehensible letter written by an eccentric person, by someone who has no love for life.”
Archbishop Tempesta's statement noted that the shooting “has wounded us all.”
He prayed that “the Lord Jesus, in this time of Lent, will console us all and send upon a special blessing, that these kinds of acts may never happen again in our city.”