RIO DE JANEIRO – A man believed to be a former student opened fire in a school in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, killing 12 people and wounding 22 others before taking his own life, authorities said.
"The information we have is that the number of fatalities is 13, and some 22 wounded, including gunshot wounds to the head," Colonel Evandro Bezerra, a fire department spokesman, told TV Globo News.
He identified the shooter as 24-year-old Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, who was believed to be a former student at the school. Police said he left a letter saying he wanted to commit suicide.
Initial reports said he entered the school wearing a backpack and said he was going to a conference, before opening fire in a classroom.
"The person entered, and fired shots," a spokeswoman for the Rio Military Police said.
The victims included students and staff at the public school in the western Realengo neighborhood.
TV Globo News showed images of the wounded being loaded into ambulances at the public school in the western Rio neighborhood.
© AFP 2013