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TRAGEDY IN BARCELONA

“He’s gone crazy! Please, get out of here now! He’s going to kill you all!”

Student recounts the panic and terror of Monday’s school attack, which left a teacher dead Investigators find a small arsenal of weaponry in the teenage attacker’s bedroom

Students return to class at the Barcelona school.Photo: atlas | Video: Atlas

“We were in the classroom, in Joan Fuster [school], with the Castilian Spanish teacher. He [the attacker] knocked on the door and the teacher said to him, ‘You can’t come in because you’re 15 minutes late.’ So he kicks the door open and with a crossbow, a pistol, he shoots at the teacher and hits her in the eye. The teacher starts running toward other classrooms. Then he grabs a girl and stabs her, and one of his friends says to him, ‘What are you doing, what are you doing man?’ And then he stabs his friend as well.”

That is the start of a chilling account given by a female student of the horrific attack carried out on Monday morning by a student from the Joan Fuster high school in Barcelona, which left one teacher dead and another four people injured.

We heard a bang and we glanced back. That’s when we saw the dead teacher”

The audio recording of the account, which is already in the hands of the Catalan regional police, reflects the panic in the classrooms and corridors as the attack took place.

“Everyone was running. L., who was his friend, was really nervous. Then they entered our classroom, we saw the teacher who was bleeding… and she started… I mean, she couldn’t speak and so she ran away. Then L. came in, saying ‘He’s gone crazy! Please, get out of here now! He’s going to kill you all! Then he entered our classroom. I was really scared, because he never liked me,” she explains in the recording, to which EL PAÍS has had access.

“I’ll always remember how brave you were”

A letter from one of the students from the Joan Fuster school in memory of the teacher who was killed in the attack.

Abel, thank you for the week we spent with you and your teaching. What a tragedy that things ended up like this. You protected us to the end and you were very brave.

I will always remember your bravery and you knowledge.

I’ll never forget you.

Lots of love,

Ainhoa, 2º A

She continues: “What’s more, he had made out a blacklist of all those he wanted to kill, and nearly all of them were from Sagrer [a grade school] and a load of teachers. When he entered, we just started running, running, running… And afterwards we heard a bang and we glanced back. That’s when we saw the dead teacher. We started to run even faster and we got out. Everyone from my class was there, all of the second year had got out on to the street.”

Aside from witness statements, further details have emerged about the attacker, who, aged only 13, cannot be arrested or tried in court for murder under Spanish law. The crossbow used in the attack belonged to his father, who had received it as a gift 20 years ago. Although a small weapon, it is sufficiently dangerous to require its owner to hold a license.

The Catalan authorities have found another three crossbows in the youngster’s bedroom, although these are either toys or had been put together using wire and rubber bands.

The police also found two pellet guns and a large machete, as well as notebooks containing, among other things, what looked like a plan of the school. There are also drawings, including one of a monster with a message underneath that reads: “We have to kill them all.”

The crossbow used in the attack belonged to the teenager’s father, who had received it as a gift 20 years ago

The school insisted on Tuesday that they had no knowledge of the fact that the teenager had any psychological problems.

Irene Rigau, the Catalan education chief, told Catalunya Radio yesterday that the youngster had not got in any trouble at the school, but that, in recent weeks, he was being monitored because his academic performance had dropped.

“Aside from the [psychotic] episode, he is a fantastic student,” said David Jurado, the gym teacher who managed to calm the teenager after the attack.

“His teachers were due to go and speak to the teachers soon,” explained Rigau, who was also keen to insist that Catalan classrooms are safe places for teachers and students alike.

Aside from this psychotic episode, he is a fantastic student” Gym teacher David Jurado

The police are yet to locate any of the so-called “blacklists” of people that the youngster wanted to attack, which some of his classmates insist exist.

The investigation into the attack being carried out by a Barcelona judge is likely to be short. The information he gathers during the probe will be sent to the regional government’s General Department for the Attention of Infants and Adolescents, which will evaluate the situation and take appropriate action.

As he is under 14 years old, the youngster cannot face trial or be sent to prison, given that he is free of penal responsibility for his actions under Spanish law.

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