One person has died and four others have been injured after a 13 year old student armed with a crossbow and a dagger burst into a high school in Barcelona. The victim was a substitute teacher who was covering social sciences classes for a colleague. Three of the four people injured are now being treated in the Hospital Sant Pau in Barcelona, and are reported to be in a stable condition.
The incident took place this morning at the Joan Fuster school, located in Ferran Reyes square in the La Sagrera neighborhood.
The youngster was also carrying a pellet gun and a rucksack containing material that could be used to make a petrol bomb.
Because of his age, the perpetrator will not be charged for the offences under Spanish law, and could not even be arrested.
As news of the incident spread, concerned parents began to congregate outside the school “Thank God for mobile phones,” one told reporters. “They have kept us informed minute by minute.” Half-a-dozen ambulances were also outside the school.
Several students from the school explained that the attacker first shot at his Spanish teacher with the crossbow, after she told him to enter the classroom having arrived late. The woman is among the injured.
The attacker is then reported to have stabbed the daughter of the Spanish teacher, who was a classmate of his, in the leg. After hearing shouts and screams, the substitute teacher entered the classroom, and was shot with the crossbow and fatally stabbed in the abdomen.
The teacher who was killed had been at the school for less than two weeks.
Under Spanish law, minors aged under 14 who commit murder are not able to be charged. Legislation dictates that measures taken in cases such as this should be limited to the education and family environments, according to Spanish news agency EFE. Acquiring a crossbow in Spain requires the same kind of permission as needed for a hunting rifle. However, a witness cited by EFE said the weapon used in the attack was homemade, constructed using wood and pens.