One man with a knife attacked 19 children walking home from school in China Friday. He killed seven and injured twelve others.
The tragic attack occurred outside a middle school in Mizhi County in Shaanxi province after students had been dismissed for the day.
Of the 19 students assaulted, 14 were girls as young as 12 years old because “male students ran more quickly,” reports the Huashang Daily, a Shaanxi province newspaper.
The suspect is currently in custody, but police have not commented on his motive.
China has strict gun regulations, so knives are a common weapon used by mentally unstable criminals in deadly attacks and mass killings. Criminal activity is unusual in Mizhi County, so this ongoing investigation is a top priority right now.
“China has seen several fatal knife attacks in recent years,” BBC News explains. “The latest stabbing target[ing] schoolchildren recalls a spate of unconnected knife attacks at Chinese schools between 2010 and 2012, which left at least 25 dead and more than 100 injured.”