Convicted killer stabs 5th graders, teacher

The body of the attacker lies on the grounds of Talisayan Elementary School in the southern Philippines after he was killed by irate villagers following a stabbing spree on Friday. AP
/ Source: staff and news service reports

An ex-convict stabbed a teacher and several students Friday at an elementary school in the  Philippines in a melee that left four people dead and six wounded, police said.

The man, who appeared to be mentally disturbed, barged into a room at the Talisayan Elementary School in Zamboanga City on Friday and fatally stabbed a teacher, police Superintendent Hado Edding said.

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The attacker, identified by the newspaper as Felin Mateo, then went to another room, herded 5th grade students into a restroom and stabbed them one by one until parents wrestled with him and stabbed him with his weapon.

A teacher, a student, the attacker, and an elderly man who was among those who tried to seize Mateo's knife were killed in the attack, Edding told The Associated Press.

"It was horrible," one villager told the Examiner. "The man was attacking the children and we were able to grab the knife and overpowered him. He stabbed the teacher first and then ran on the second floor of the school building and barged in on the class room and started knifing the poor kids."

Four students and two teachers were being treated at Zamboanga's Brent Hospital, including an 11-year-old girl and one teacher in serious condition, a doctor contacted by phone said.

Edding said the attacker had previously served a prison sentence after being convicted of murder.

"We still don’t know what triggered him to attack the children," village chieftain Pinpin Pareja told the paper.