A 14-year-old student stabbed three teachers and two students in a college in southern Spain on Thursday, an extremely rare occurrence in the country where political and religious authorities have called for “urgent reflection” on violence.
According to Adrian Dominguez, a police spokesperson, the teenager, armed with two knives, dealt several blows to the victims, shortly after the start of classes at the Elena García Armada public school in Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalusia.
“The police located him on the third floor, he had in his possession the two knives used to attack three teachers and two students,” he told the press. Controlled, the student was taken to a police station, he added.
Regional Education Manager, Patricia del Pozo said that four of the five injured were treated in hospital. The only serious injury, a teacher, hit in the eye, will have to be operated on, she continued.
Sealed off by the police, the school saw a crowd of worried parents gathering in the morning in front of the closed gates to get news of their children, according to images broadcast by Spanish television.
Describing the situation as “dramatic”, the mayor of Jerez de la Frontera, Maria José Garcia-Pelayo, said that “all the parents were outside the establishment and wished they could hug their children”.
“We are all upset,” she continued, very moved.
The students, who have since been able to leave the establishment, will be able to benefit from psychological support, she assured.
According to several student testimonies, the suspect stabbed students in his class and the teacher who was hit in the eye before leaving and going to another class.
“I saw the guy with two knives and with a look on his face indicating that he wanted to stab everyone,” a schoolboy told Canal Sur television, without giving his first and last name.
“He ran to the back (of the class), left his backpack on the floor and took out the knives before shouting ‘I’m going to kill you’ (…) We are in shock,” said one another on the La Sexta channel, also under cover of anonymity. “He was running chasing people, everyone went out into the playground,” he added.
“We do not know the causes” which pushed this teenager to make such a gesture, indicated the regional president of Andalusia, Juanma Moreno, who admitted to having been “fearful” because the situation could have been “a lot worse”.
Having reached the age of criminal responsibility, set in Spain at 14 years, the suspect may be prosecuted.
Extremely rare in the country, this news item caused excitement and led to calls from several authorities to launch a discussion on violence.
“We must launch a collective reflection on the role that violence plays in all areas: television, cinema, (video) games, in the social sphere (…) on social networks,” insisted Juanma Moreno, the one of the main leaders of the major party of the Spanish right, the Popular Party.
“This invites us to urgent reflection for our society (…) this news informs us of a serious situation currently and of an equally difficult perspective for the future,” added the general secretary of the Episcopal Conference, Mgr. Francisco César García Magán.