A man armed with a small axe climbed over a wall into a crèche in Southern Brazil and killed four children on Wednesday, police said, injuring five others in the attack.
The 25-year-old man turned himself in to police after the rampage, security chief Marcio Alberto Filippi told reporters.
Police said three boys – two aged 4 and one aged 5 – and one girl aged 7 were killed.
Four of the injured children between the ages of 3 to 5 were being treated in a hospital and were reported in stable condition, while a fifth child had minor injuries, police said.
Fearing their children might be among the victims, desperate parents rushed to the day-care center in the city of Blumenau in the state of Santa Catarina, as police and firefighters investigated the situation.
“Thank God my daughter was not among the victims,” one father told reporters. “She is fine physically, but emotionally destroyed. How am I going to get this out of her head?” he added.
The attacker had a history of violence and drugs, and had stabbed his stepfather in March 2021, police said.
The attack came nearly a week after a 13-year-old student stabbed a teacher to death and wounded five others in a Sao Paulo school.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the attack a “monstrosity.”
“A tragedy like this is unacceptable, an absurd act of hate and cowardice … an act of violence against innocent and defenseless children,” Lula said in a Twitter post.