A 13 year old Spanish boy has killed a teacher and injured four others at a school in Barcelona, attacking his victims with a crossbow and machete. He was also armed with a molotov cocktail. Authorities have said that the boy suffered a psychotic episode. He will not face prosecution as minors under 14 are not legally responsible in Spain.
The boy walked into Instituto Joan Fuster yesterday morning just after 9.20am. He first shot at a female teacher with his crossbow, narrowly missing her face, then took aim at her daughter, a pupil in the class. He had brought the weapons into school in his rucksack.
Fellow teacher Abel Martínez Oliva, 35, heard the screaming and came running to assist, whereupon the teenager used him machete to attack and kill him, the Times has reported. Mr Martinez Oliva started teaching social sciences at the school just three weeks ago.
“In the past he said he had this list of 25 teachers and pupils that he wanted to kill. But people laughed at him,” said Maria Camila, a 13 year old fellow pupil in the boy’s class.
After killing Mr Martinez Oliva the boy strode into another classroom and stabbed a pupil in the neck, although he did not injure him seriously. He then went on to attack and wound another teacher before hiding in the lavatories, where he was found by a gym teacher who held him there until police arrived and arrested the boy.
According to El Periodico, the boy told that teacher “I hear voices, I want these voices to go.”
María Ledesma, 13, who was in the second classroom said: “He came into our class. He did not say anything. We were at the other end of the class. We all ran out and it was then that we saw the teacher lying dead on the floor.”
Education authorities said the boy had suffered a “psychotic episode,” but that the school was unaware of previous mental problems. According to José Miguel Company, a spokesman for the Barcelona prosecutor’s office, the teenager has now been taken for psychiatric assessment.
He is also reported to have worn military camouflage to school on a daily basis and had Nazi symbols in his desk. However, although some pupils said he appeared obsessed with violence, others said he was introverted but normal.
Yesterday’s attack occurred on the 16th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School, Colorado, in which two students took the lives of 12 fellow pupils and one teacher before committing suicide. They also injured a 21 people during in the attack, whilst three further people were injured attempting to escape.
This is the first time a pupil has killed a teacher in Spain, prompting calls for tighter security measures in Spanish schools. Nicolás Fernández, of the National Teachers’ Union, said: “This has to push us to preventing and detecting violence in schools.”