People near Gomez Palacio, Mexico, hug each other during a funeral for the victim of a school shooting two days earlier. An 11-year-old student killed a teacher and wounded six other people. (CNS photo/Daniel Becerril, Reuters)

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Mexican bishops offered prayers for the victims of a school shooting, perpetrated by an 11-year-old student, that killed a teacher and wounded six others. The gunman is believed to have killed himself, according to police in the northern city of Torreon.

"We elevate our prayers to God for the eternal rest of the teacher and student of the Colegio Cervantes in our city. Hearing this news fills us with pain and causes us to lift our gaze toward heaven to find comfort and peace," Bishop Luis Martin Barraza Beltran of Torreon said in a statement Jan. 10.

"Let us strive each day so family unity and dialogue allows us to build new relationships based in love and respect for others."

The Jan. 10 shooting shocked Mexico, where 13 years of drug cartel-driven violence has left more than 200,000 dead and approximately 65,000 missing. But the violence convulsing the country had yet to erupt in schools, and not in the form of massacres such have occurred in U.S. schools.

Coahuila state officials say the perpetrator brought two weapons to school and fired nine shots. Media reports said the boy's mother had recently died and he had been abandoned by his father.

Coahuila Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme suggested the boy had been influenced by violent video games, though motives for the attack remain unclear.

The shooting brought about contentious speculation and uncomfortable questions about Mexico's climate of violence and how it influenced young people raised during the country's crackdown on drug cartels.

In a Jan. 13 statement, the Mexican bishops' conference called for action to "build a humanity that reverses the culture of death" and stressed the importance of education, saying, "It is urgent to dedicate the highest and best human resources and materials to education, mainly in the family, school and social environments."

It added, "We commit ourselves again to be a church that continues the labor of promoting human dignity through the formation of each person."

More: Mexico / Guns

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters after House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership post on May 12. In a speech before the vote, Ms. Cheney reportedly championed the importance of being a “party based on truth.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Republicans have booted Liz Cheney for resisting the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. This move could boomerang on those who champion the truths of tradition and faith.
Stephen Chow, S.J. (photo courtesy the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus) 
The diocese has been without a bishop since Jan. 3, 2019, when Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung died after leading the diocese for just 17 months.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 17, 2021
Pope Francis brought consolation and hope to Catholics and countless people of other religions in Myanmar when he celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica this Sunday morning for peace in their troubled homeland, which was robbed of democracy by a military coup on Feb. 1.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 16, 2021
Pope Francis today expressed his “very great concern” at the armed clashes in Gaza and Israel and made an urgent, passionate appeal “to those with the responsibility” to bring a ceasefire and “to walk the path of peace.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 16, 2021