(CNN) -- The man raced toward the school gate, flailing a knife as terrified youngsters scattered.
A little girl raises her arm to try to defend herself but fails. She falls to the ground, losing her pink backpack near the entrance gate.
After a few minutes of horror, the attacker chases other students as they try to flee the school grounds.
By the end of the man's rampage, at least 23 elementary students were wounded, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The knife attack at Chenpeng Village Primary School in China's Henan province took place on December 14, the same day an American gunman killed 20 student and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Recently released surveillance video from the front of the Chenpeng school shows children and adults tried to fend off the attacker with brooms.
Authorities say 36-year-old Min Yongjun first stabbed an elderly woman in Chenpeng before breaking into the elementary school, Xinhua said.
Police said Min was driven to commit the attack by "doomsday" rumors, according to Xinhua. Authorities also said Min testified he was inspired by TV reports about a kindergarten killing in 2010.
"He thought he was doomed and hoped to do something to impress his existence upon the world before he died," police said, according to Xinhua.
Initial assessments suggest the attacker is mentally ill, the state-run Chinanews.com said, citing Guangshan county authorities.
China suffered a spate of knife and cleaver attacks targeting school children in 2010.
A number of measures were introduced at the time, including increased security at schools across the country and a regulation requiring people to register with their national ID cards when buying large knives.
But in Chenpeng, the only visible line of defense appeared to be elementary students and nearby adults with brooms.