Video, texts of Brazil school shooter show anger

AP News
Posted: Apr 15, 2011 6:57 PM
Video, texts of Brazil school shooter show anger

Videos, photos and written documents left by the man who shot to death 12 public school students were released Friday, and reveal an angry, delusional character whose rambling messages parallel in part those left by the Virginia Tech student who killed 32 people in 2007.

Wellington Oliveira, 23, killed himself after carrying out the April 7 massacre in the Rio de Janeiro school he attended as a child. The country was shocked by the magnitude of the killing; there had never been a school shooting like this in Brazil.

But the young man's own words released Friday did little to help the country come to terms with his actions.

In videos and letters, Oliveira mentions God, quotes the Bible extensively, and discusses the quotations in long, rambling passages. He also says the attack was motivated by the bullying and humiliation he suffered as a student and continued to suffer into adulthood.

He cites Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho as "a brother" along with a Brazilian teenager who in 2003 shot and wounded six students in the school where he'd studied, then killed himself.

Oliveira thanks the two for their "bravery," and for leading the way, using language similar to that used by Cho in videos he'd made before dying, which are widely available on the Internet.

Like Cho, Oliveira refers repeatedly to others who were bullied as brothers. Like Cho, he says he was once weak and now is strong and will seek revenge for himself and others who like him were persecuted; also, Oliveira and Cho both blame school officials and bullies for the attacks they are about to commit.

"I hope this serves as a lesson, especially to those school officials who stood by with their arms crossed as students were being attacked, humiliated, ridiculed," Oliveira says in one video.

He says: "I want to leave very clear that I am not responsible for the deaths that will occur, even though my fingers will be on the trigger... Each time you see someone making fun of someone else for their physical appearance, the clothing or any reason... remember that type of person is responsible for all these deaths, including my own."

Among the seven photos of Oliveira recovered from his computer and released, two show him in poses similar to those seen in photos of Cho available on the Internet. In one, Oliveira stands with a gun in each hand, arms outstretched to the side; in another, he stares at the camera, with a gun pointed at the viewer.

The families whose children Oliveira killed are still grappling with their loss; classes at the working class suburban school have not resumed yet. On Friday, the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, said the city would compensate the families of the dead.

"These families have been through indescribable suffering," he said. "It's an irreparable loss, but some kind of compensation has to be discussed."

The amount of the compensation and the date of the payment haven't been determined yet.

In spite of the mayor's promise, the mother of one of the children who died said she plans to sue the school.

Noeli da Silva Rocha, 38, lost her daughter, Mariana Rocha, in the attack.

"How can they let the criminal who did this walk in and kill a whole bunch of children? Whose mistake was this? Wasn't it the school's?" she told G1, Globo TV's Web site, after a parent-teacher conference at Tasso da Silveira school. "They'll have to pay."