Students are evacuated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, US, during a shooting incident on February 14 2018, where school shootings are becoming increasingly common place. Picture: WSVN.COM VIA REUTERS
Students are evacuated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, US, during a shooting incident on February 14 2018, where school shootings are becoming increasingly common place. Picture: WSVN.COM VIA REUTERS

São Paulo — At least eight people were killed at a Brazilian elementary school where two young men were seen entering the building and firing weapons early on Wednesday, according to São Paulo police.

At least six of the victims were students and two were school employees, local authorities said.

An unknown number of additional children were also shot at the Raul Brasil elementary school and taken to hospitals. The state of their health was not immediately known.

School shootings are rare in Brazil, even though the country is one of the world’s most violent, with more annual homicides than any other. The last major school shooting was in 2011, when 12 children were shot dead by a former pupil in Rio de Janeiro.

While gun laws are extremely strict in Brazil, it is not difficult to illegally purchase a weapon.

Police said that two adolescents wearing face masks entered the building and started shooting at about 9.30am local time. The pair eventually shot and killed themselves.

Police told the Globo TV network that another shooting took place about 500m from the Raul Brasil school shortly before the killings at the school, but it is not yet clear if the two incidents are related.

Reuters