A 13-YEAR-OLD was being held by police yesterday after allegedly killing a teacher with a crossbow at a school in Barcelona and injuring four others.
The teenager is said to have fired at a female teacher with the home-made weapon before targeting a pupil who turned out to be her daughter.
A substitute teacher who had only been working at the high school for a fortnight was killed when he heard shouting and screaming and went to investigate.
It was initially reported that he had been struck in the heart with an arrow fired from the crossbow, although later reports said he had been stabbed with the tip of the weapon. The youngster, reported to have entered the Joan Fuster Institute dressed in combat gear, was also thought to have been carrying a large knife, described by one source as a machete. He was yesterday being held at the school ahead of a medical examination by health experts.
Police confirmed he cannot be formally arrested or tried for his alleged crimes because he is under 14, the age of criminal responsibility in Spain.
A source close to the investigation said it was thought the youngster, whom classmates said had bragged about killing all the teachers at his school before committing suicide, may have suffered from a psychotic breakdown.
They said they did not report him because they thought he was joking.
Spanish newspaper El Periodico reported the youngster, identified only by his initials MPC, had Nazi symbols on his desk and had put at least 25 teachers and pupils on a death wish-list of those he planned to target.
The crossbow he is thought to have used in the attack was said by another newspaper, El Mundo, to have been made out of wood and pens.
He went on the attack after arriving late for school just after 9:15am, targeting the female language teacher after knocking on her door before turning to her daughter.
A teenage pupil told a Spanish TV station: “We heard shouting and a pupil came running into our classroom warning us to run because a boy was on the loose with a knife covered in blood.
“At that moment the boy rushed in. He had a face like a madman as if he was looking for someone. We huddled in the corner and when he left we ran out into the playground and saw a girl with blood on her knees and a teacher lying motionless on the floor as we fled.”
Reports also suggested the teenager was caught preparing a Molotov cocktail after the attack.
Catalan daily El Periodico said the boy told a PE teacher who held him and calmed him down while he waited for police to arrive: “I hear voices, I want to finish with all the voices.”
A spokesman for the regional police said: “We have identified a minor on suspicion of the death of a teacher at a school in Barcelona. Four people were slightly injured, two female teachers and two pupils.”