On Thursday, a disturbed young Brazilian man on a suicide mission shot dead 10 girls and two boys at his former elementary school in Rio de Janeiro.

Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, 24, also shot and wounded 12 others -- many in the head -- and only stopped firing when he was shot in the leg by a police officer and turned one of his revolvers on himself, officials said.

The death toll was raised late Thursday as a 13-year-old boy had succumbed to his injuries, health officials told local media.

A rambling, religiously themed suicide note was found in his clothes but it shed little light on the motivation of his macabre attack on defenseless young children, aged between 9 and 15, as they arrived for morning class.
Officials said police officers patrolling nearby had averted an even greater massacre at the school, which caters for some 400 pupils.

"If the police had not arrived so quickly the tragedy would have been much worse, because the man had a lot of ammunition and was carrying two handguns," military police spokesman Djalma Beltrame said.

"An officer who arrived at the school injured him in an exchange of gunfire, but the man killed himself with a shot to the head."

Menezes de Oliveira's parents said their adopted son had left home eight months previously. A bizarre letter found on his dead body showed the killer's clearly disturbed mindset and confirmed he had embarked on a premeditated suicide mission.

"They must know that the impure cannot touch me without gloves, only the chaste or those who lost their chastity after marriage and were not involved in adultery will be able to touch me without gloves," it said.
"Nothing that is impure can touch my blood," the letter continued, leaving instructions for his body to be undressed, cleaned and then wrapped in a white shroud he took with him to the school.

The note, which he signed, also expressed his desire to be buried next to his adopted mother and asked that "his tomb be visited by a loyal follower of God to pray before my burial asking God forgiveness for what I have done." His victims had no time to leave a note to their loved-ones.

Rio state health minister Sergio Cortes told national broadcaster Agencia Brasil those killed were nine girls and one boy.


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