Three minors and a teacher were injured Wednesday morning after a 15-year-old student carrying a handgun opened fire inside a classroom in northern Mexico.
The shooting took place at el Colegio Americano del Noreste, a private school in the city of Monterrey with a focus on bilingual education. Leaked security camera footage of the shocking school shooting is making the rounds on Mexican social media.
Nuevo León state officials said the shooter struck one student in the arm and the other victims in the head before turning the gun on himself. Officials said that three victims—two of the students and the teacher—are in critical condition; the student shot in the arm is currently stable.
The shooter committed suicide.
State security spokesman Aldo Fasci told reporters the shooter had “psychological problems” and was being treated for depression. He asked Mexican media outlets not to share the images of the shooting that are circulating on social media.
Fasci also suggested it might be time to support Operación Mochila or “Operation Backpack,” a controversial backpack inspection program that has gained traction in some Mexican schools and has raised alarms among privacy advocates.
In a press conference, Nuevo Léon Governor Jaime Rodriguez implored Mexicans to reflect on the incident. “Firearms destroy, firearms take away any person’s tranquility and peace,” he said.
Rodriguez said authorities are still investigating the incident and how the shooter acquired the firearm.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took to Twitter to offer his condolences to the families of the victims.
School shootings are rare in Mexico.
However, the incident comes as some Mexican lawmakers consider new gun laws amid a spike in violent crime.
Narco-violence has also pushed some drug war-weary Mexicans to break the country’s gun ownership taboo, arm themselves, and form vigilante groups.
Although the country has strict gun laws, the legal purchase of firearms has reportedly increased in recent years. Analysts attribute the spike on a growing perception of nationwide insecurity.
The Monterrey school shooting is likely to play in favor of Mexican gun control advocates who often highlight the mass shooting epidemic in the U.S. to defend current Mexican gun laws and restrictions.