By Dave Graham
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – An 11-year-old boy armed with two guns entered a school in northern Mexico, shot dead a teacher and wounded at least six others before killing himself, possibly under the influence of a violent video game, local officials said on Friday.
Jorge Zermeno, mayor of the northern city of Torreon, said the boy shot a female teacher then killed himself in the private school known as the Colegio Cervantes on Friday morning. At least five students and another teacher also were injured, he added.
“It’s a tragedy. It’s very, very sad that a boy of 11 can come to school with two guns,” Zermeno told local television.
Images apparently of the crime scene published on social media showed two people lying in pools of blood on what looked like a school floor, their bodies twisted and their faces covered with sheets. A pistol lay on the ground between them.
Television images showed police and soldiers surrounding the school.
Miguel Riquelme, governor of the state of Coahuila, where Torreon 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 video game.”
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 video game is made by San Francisco-based company Unknown Worlds Entertainment, according to its website. The company did not reply to a request by Reuters for comment.
Experts have long debated whether there is a link between violent video games and aggressive behavior.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims and said more needed to be done to strengthen family life and prevent such events from happening in future.
Though homicides have reached record levels in Mexico during the past two years, school shootings are unusual.
By contrast, there were more than a dozen school shootings last year alone in the United States.
In 2017, a student killed four people and himself at a private school in northern Mexico.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon, Noe Torres and Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Dave Graham and Bill Berkrot)