Are our children’s schools safe? Do they have to watch over their backs every time for unexpected attacks?
A knife-wielding man with a grudge killed nine middle school children and injured at least 10 others as they returned home in northern China, authorities said, in one of the deadliest such rampages in the country in recent years.
The 28-year-old suspect was detained and the injured children were receiving hospital treatment, the Mizhi County public security bureau in Shaanxi province said on its official social media account.
Seven girls and two boys were killed, a leading news agency said, citing local police. The ages of the children were not given, but middle schoolers are usually between 12 and 15 years old in China.
The incident took place at around 6:10 pm local time, the department said. A man surnamed Zhao from Zhaojiashan village in Mizhi County was arrested, the public security bureau said.
The suspect confessed that he had been “bullied” when he attended the same Number Three Middle School when he was a child, “hated” his classmates and decided to use a “dagger” to kill people on Friday, the bureau said.
Videos and images posted online by witnesses showed bodies spread along alleyways.
Residents rushed for assistance, carrying the injured in their arms. “Hurry up, hurry up, call for help!” a woman shouted in one video.
In other videos, the police walked down a street holding the neck of a man whose face was bloody. News reports identified him as the suspect.
The attack revived fears in China about school safety, a perennial concern among parents.
Knives are a weapon of choice in China, where guns and other weapons are strictly regulated.