Acts of Violence
Violence began almost immediately after the President Habyarimana's plane was shot down. Political leaders who might have been able to take charge of the situation and other high profile opponents of the Hutu extremist plans were killed immediately. Groups of Tutsi -- and Hutu who feared the violence of the war or felt they might be targeted -- fled to places that in previous times of turmoil had served as refuges: churches, schools, and government buildings. In 1994, these places became the sites of major massacres. Tutsi and people suspected of being Tutsi were killed in their homes and as they tried to flee at roadblocks set up across the country during the genocide. Entire families were killed at a time. Women were systematically and brutally raped.
Sometimes, Tutsi were murdered or attacked by their neighbors. It is estimated that some 200,000 people participated in the perpetration of the Rwandan genocide. Many people involved in the killing also helped rescue others. Those caught helping Tutsi were vulnerable to becoming victims themselves.