MEXICO CITY — A 15-year-old student shot four people, including a teacher, at a private school in northern Mexico on Wednesday, in what authorities called an unprecedented act.
The student died shortly after from self-inflicted wounds, authorities said, and three others remain in critical condition.
Security footage from the Colegio Americano del Noroeste, in Nuevo León state, showed the perpetrator, whom authorities identified as Federico Guevara, pull out a handgun inside a classroom. He aimed first at the teacher, who had been collecting papers from students seconds before, and then at three of his classmates. Authorities pleaded with news media to refrain from sharing the video, as well as photographs of the injured in puddles of their own blood, from circulating.
The bilingual school offers classes for preschool through middle school–aged students.
"This event makes us all worried and anxious about what is happening in a society where a young person dares to hurt his classmates," said Nuevo León governor Jaime Rodríguez Calderón during a press conference. The shooter's motive was still under investigation, he added.
Nuevo León security spokesperson Aldo Fasci, on the other hand, said that the shooter was being treated for depression prior to the attack, attributing the shooting to pervasive images of violence on the internet. An initiative to search students' backpacks was tabled by parents several years ago, he added.
The type of school shootings that occur almost frequently now in the United States are unheard of in Mexico. Instead, a turf war between drug cartels that has led to thousands of homicides has been the primary source of violence in Mexican students' lives.
It is also very difficult for civilians to legally purchase handguns in Mexico. Those seeking a permit must undergo a psychological exam, have complied with the country's obligatory military service, and pay the equivalent of 30 daily minimum wages.
"I join the pain and consternation of the families and the school community," President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted.