A Teen Opened Fire at His School in Monterrey, a Rare Incident That Has Left Many Mexicans in Shock

Lead Photo: Photo by Frederic Cirou / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections
Photo by Frederic Cirou / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections
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On Wednesday morning, tragedy struck Colegio Americano del Noreste – a private American school in Monterrey. A 15-year-old boy – identified as Federico Guevara by Nuevo Leon Governor Jaime Rodriguez – opened fire on his classmates shortly after 8 a.m.

According to El País, Federico fired the first shot from his desk and struck a classmate in the head. He then stood up and shot Cecilia Solís, the teacher who had her back to him. His classmates scrambled to hide, but he still fired two more shots, injuring at least two more. After the fourth round, he paused for a second before aiming the .22 caliber firearm to his own temple. But he appeared to have run out of bullets. He reloaded and shot himself in the chin and collapsed, Reuters reports. That’s when his classmates rushed out of the classroom, where parents gathered outside.

Medical personnel transported Federico to the hospital, where he died. The other three victims were also taken to the hospital, where they’re fighting for their lives, Fox News notes. The last victim is out of danger, though he sustained an injury to his arm. As this community reels after this senseless crime, officials work to find a motive. Without making assumptions about the shooters mental state, Nuevo Leon security spokesman Aldo Fasci revealed that Federico suffered from depression. “He had depression and was being treated,” Fasci said. “We have no motive yet.”

Fasci, however, zeroed in on the internet as one of the possible root causes for the shooting at Colegio Americano del Noreste . “[This] is result of a situation that is happening everywhere,” he said, according to the BBC. “The children have access to the internet. This has happened in other countries.” In the last three decades, forensic investigators have found evidence that mass killers model their crimes after prior incidents. Since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, a Federal Bureau of Investigation unit has studied more than 400 cases to pinpoint what propels people to carry out these serious crimes. The FBI found that the copycat effect – that is, crimes inspired by other crimes – permeated through many of the cases, Mother Jones adds.

It’s not evident if this is what occurred in Monterrey. But Fasci is correct in asserting that school shootings rarely happen in Mexico. As Fusion points out, the devastating event took place as Mexican lawmakers contemplate new gun laws so that its citizens can protect themselves amid crime. In October, for example, the National Action Party (PAN) backed a bill that’d amend the Constitution so that people could carry firearms inside private businesses and vehicles. Governor Rodriguez used this harrowing moment to make the case against increased gun ownership. “Firearms destroy, firearms take away any person’s tranquility and peace,” he said.

It’s unclear if this incident will have any impact on future gun laws, but Fasci suggests enacting the controversial Operación Mochila in Nuevo Leon. The program – which gives schools permission to examine children’s backpacks – has some reach throughout the country, but is also seen as a violation of students’ rights. For Fasci, this seems like the logical solution. He said, “We will have to do it again, and bring awareness to parents and students.”

In the meantime, the country mourns: