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Brazil: Four Dead as Gunman Opens Fire in Cathedral

A man opened fire in a cathedral in southern Brazil after Mass on Tuesday, killing four people and wounding four more before turning a gun on himself, authorities said.

The shooting happened right after the midday service had ended at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Campinas, a city about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Sao Paulo.

According to reports the gunman took a bullet in the ribs in a firefight with the police and then shot himself in the head.

“It’s so sad,” said Wilson Cassante, a press officer with the archdiocese. “It’s hard to imagine the pain this has caused.”

The motive for the attack is not yet clear. Neither the gunman nor his victims have been identified.

The gunman “came into the church, sat on a chair, with time to think, and then got up and starting shooting,” said Mr Caviola Filho.

The investigator also said that before shooting himself in the head, the suspect took a bullet in the ribs from responding police.

In total, the suspect fired at least 20 shots, said Mr Caviola Filho.

Major Adriano Augusto told O Globo News that the gunman stood up shortly after the prayers had ended.

“He first hit the people on the bench behind him,” Major Augusto said. “Apparently he shot in several directions, not directed at anyone specifically.”

Most of those who were hit were elderly, the newspaper reports. There is some confusion over the exact number of fatalities, with some reports putting the number at four.

Police officers outside the cathedral immediately entered after hearing the shots. Paramedics could be seen treating people at the scene. Ambulances rushed the wounded to hospital.

The archdiocese of São Paulo said on its Facebook page that the killings had caused “deep pain”, and that the cathedral would remain shut while the police investigation was carried out.

 

Photo Credit: AP

 

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