The unidentified boy was upheld by police as a suspect after the vicious attack which also saw two students and two teachers injured. Police officials said he will not be subjected to criminal charges because he is under the age of 14.
The attack, which took place in the morning hours, spread terror in the high school from a worker’s neighborhood in Spain’s second-largest city. School attacks are very rare in Spain.
“We were just starting the class and suddenly we heard screams. So we shut ourselves inside our classroom in order to be safe,” said student Gemma Jarque.
A police spokeswoman explained that the boy was armed with a crossbow and a machete but the official was unable to mention what weapon was used to cause the man’s death.
She added the investigation is carried out under secrecy order. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, as police regulations prevented her from revealing her name.
The boy was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric consultation.
Authorities did not give out details of how the attack was carried out, but witnesses said students hid in the classroom after hearing people screaming, and run with other students only after a fire alarm was activated.
“We saw the teacher lying on the floor in a pool of blood,” a witness said.
The four injured people were taken to Barcelona hospitals for medical treatment. Parents and students gathered outside the school for students aged 12-16. Students explained the teacher killed was a substitute which has joined the school for about a week.
Police in Barcelona did not offered the name of the suspect because of his age.
In Spain, children under age 14 are not held responsible for crimes and cannot be sentenced to jail or sent to juvenile detention centers.
According to a spokesman for Spain’s Justice Ministry who spoke on condition of anonymity, kids under the age of 14 can be sent to mental health institutions.
In recent years, there were no other fatal school attacks in the country.
Spain did avoid an attempt in 2012 by a 21-year-old Spanish man who wanted to replicate the attack at Columbine High School in Colorado in which 12 students and one teacher lost their lives.
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