KEY POINTS

  • Incident took place at River Valley High School in Singapore
  • The 16-year-old accused was a patient at a mental health institution
  • Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong expressed shock over the incident 

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of a 13-year-old fellow student, whose body was found in the bathroom of a school in Singapore.

Police rushed to River Valley High School on Monday afternoon after receiving reports of a boy found dead. The officers found a 13-year-old student lying motionless in the bathroom with multiple wounds. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene and an ax, found beside the body, was seized as evidence, BBC reported.

In the meantime, the school went into lockdown briefly. The students who were locked in the classrooms sent panic messages to their parents. Some students reportedly said they had seen a student wielding an ax. The accused was taken into custody, while other students were sent home.

Investigation revealed the accused had tried to kill himself two years back and had been a patient at a mental health institution. He appeared in court Tuesday and was charged with murder. He is being remanded for psychiatric assessment.

Local authorities said the initial probe suggested that he purchased the ax online and the accused and victim did not know each other. Investigators were trying to find out the link between them and the motive behind the murder, CNN reported.

Singapore's Minister of Education, Chan Chun Sing, took to Facebook to say he was working closely with the authorities on the investigation.

"Our thoughts are with the families of the students concerned. Ministry of Education, Singapore is rendering all possible support to them and the students and staff at the school," he wrote in his post.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also expressed shock over the incident in a Facebook post.

"My heart goes out to his family. I know we cannot properly express our sympathy or offer much comfort in their sudden calamity. But still, I would like them to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them," his post read.

The murder charges can carry the death penalty in the country. However, for those under 18, the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.

crime-scene-29055_640 Murder Photo: Pixabay