Torreón shooting: Boy opens fire in Colegio Cervantes private school
The boy was influenced by a first-person shooter game, “Natural Selection” - Photo: Taken from Google Maps

Torreón shooting: Boy opens fire in Colegio Cervantes private school

10/01/2020
11:15
Newsroom & Agencies
Torreón
Dave Graham/REUTERS
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A boy entered a school in the northern Mexican city of Torreón, shot dead a teacher and wounded at least six others before killing himself

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An 11-year-old boy entered a private school in the northern Mexican city of Torreón, shot dead a teacher and wounded at least six classmates before killing himself, local officials said on Friday. Students report they heard five to six gun detonations. The school was immediately evacuated.

Jorge Zermeño Infante, mayor of TorreónPublic Security Chief Primo Francisco García Cervantes, and Lieutenant Adelaido Flores arrived at the school immediately after the shooting

Jorge Zermeño told local television the boy had two guns when he began shooting in the private school known as the Colegio Cervantes on Friday morning. At least four students and another teacher were injured, Zermeno said.

Maurilio Ochoa, delegate of the Coahuila Prosecutor's Office in La Laguna said that two students are in critical condition.

Miguel Riquelme, governor of the state of Coahuila, where Torreón is located, told a news conference that the boy, whose mother had died some years ago, had not had problems at the school.

“He was well behaved, but he told some of his classmates that ‘Today was the day,’” he said. “And what we can observe is that the boy was influenced by a videogame.”

Riquelme said the boy had apparently been influenced by a first-person shooter game, “Natural Selection,” and had worn a t-shirt emblazoned with its name during the attack.

Riquelme said he believed the boy had tried to recreate the game.

The videogame is made by San Francisco-based company Unknown Worlds Entertainment, according to its website. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Experts have long debated whether there is a link between violent videogames and aggressive behavior.

Television images showed dozens of police and soldiers surrounding the school. 

Though homicides have reached record levels in Mexico during the past two years, such school shootings are unusual. By contrast, over a dozen school shootings were reported last year alone in the United States by local media.

In 2017, a 15-year-old student opened fire in a middle-school classroom, hitting a teacher and two other students in the head before killing himself at Colegio Americano del Noroeste private school in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, Nuevo León.

Mexican president, residents mourn school shooting in Monterrey 

On January 13, the Attorney General of Coahuila, Gerardo Márquez Guevara, announced that the two firearms used by an 11-year old to kill his teacher and himself belong to his grandfather; moreover, the man does not have a permit to own and carry the two guns.

The Attorney General said that once the investigation is done, authorities will determine whether or not the grandfather is responsible for a crime.

Later that day, state authorities announced that the boy's grandfather had been arrested and charged with omission in the murder of teacher María Assaf. The man has been sent to prison and he could face between 18 and 35 years behind bars.

On January 14, Santiago Nieto, the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), announced that the bank accounts of the boy's grandparents had been blocked after they registered unusual money transfers

On January 15, during the President's daily news conference, Santiago Nieto confirmed the news and said that the irregularities are linked to money laundering and tax fraud. The accounts were blocked at the request of the Coahuila government.

On January 19, the boy’s grandfather was bound over to trial for the intentional homicide, as a result of his omission.

During a hearing held on January 19, a judge decided there was enough evidence to charge the man with omission since the child lived with him and the guns he used to kill his teacher and himself were owned by the grandfather.

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