Brazilian police said Thursday that two men who stormed their former school with a gun, crossbows and axes attempted to copy the 1999 Columbine shooting in Colorado.
Friends and former classmates of 17-year-old Guilherme Taucci Monteiro and 25-year-old Henrique de Castro told authorities that the two were obsessed with the school shooting, Sao Paulo civil police director Ruy Ferraz said, according to The Associated Press.
The two attacked an elementary school Wednesday, killing at least eight and injuring many more before killing themselves.
Monteiro and de Castro “wanted to prove they could act like in Columbine High School with cruelty and with a tragic character so they could be more recognized than” even the Columbine killers, Ferraz said, according to AP.
The 1999 attack was also carried about by two armed young men, who ended their own lives after killing 12 students and a teacher.
Ferraz said the sources that revealed the obsession to authorities didn’t believe the attack would actually happen, or feared that telling anyone would make them targets.