An 11-year-old boy shot and killed his teacher Friday at a school in northern Mexico and wounded six other people, then killed himself, authorities said.
The wounded -- five pupils and a physical education teacher -- were taken to a local hospital, where they were in stable condition, said Governor Miguel Angel Riquelme of the state of Coahuila, which borders the United States.
Panicked parents rushed to the private elementary school, the Colegio Cervantes, as officials evacuated the trim brick building and police and soldiers put it on lockdown.
Riquelme said the student had asked for permission to go to the bathroom shortly after the school day began. When he did not return after about 15 minutes, his teacher, a 50-year-old woman, went to see if anything was wrong.
He emerged from the bathroom with two guns and opened fire, killing his teacher and wounding the group of six, who were passing through the hallway, before shooting himself, Riquelme said.
"We deeply regret this incident... which is shocking for us all," the governor told a news conference.
"I want to reiterate that this sort of thing is not the norm in our schools."
Mexico is more used to seeing school shootings in the neighboring United States than up close.
However, the incident was not without precedent. In 2014, a 15-year-old shot and killed a schoolmate in central Mexico State, and in 2017 a 15-year-old shot and wounded four classmates at a high school in the northern city of Monterrey.
- Video game? Columbine? -
Riquelme said the boy had not shown behavioral problems, but had told classmates that "today was the today," and talked to them about the first-person shooter video game "Natural Selection."
In the bathroom, he changed into a T-shirt with "Natural Selection" written on it before carrying out the shooting, said state prosecutor Gerardo Marquez.
"Natural Selection" was also written on a T-shirt worn by one of the shooters at Columbine High School in 1999, when two students killed 13 schoolmates and then themselves.
The video game, whose first edition was released in 2002, has no direct link with the Columbine shooting.
As for a possible link with Columbine, he said: "We have to follow every possible line of investigation, and that is one of them."
The student, who was in his final year of elementary school, lived with his grandparents and made good grades, officials said.
© 2020 AFP