Four killed at shooting in cathedral in southern Brazil

Four others injured before shooter turned gun on himself says authorities

A police officer stands next to a body at the scene of a shooting at a Catholic cathedral in Campinas, Brazil on December 11th Photograph: Reuters/Ricardo Lima

A police officer stands next to a body at the scene of a shooting at a Catholic cathedral in Campinas, Brazil on December 11th Photograph: Reuters/Ricardo Lima

 

A man opened fire in a cathedral in southern Brazil after mass, killing four and leaving four others injured before turning a gun on himself, authorities said.

The shooting occurred right after mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Campinas, a city about 95km north of Sao Paulo, according to Wilson Cassante, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

He said the officiating priest had left before the shooting began.

A spokesman for Sao Paulo state firefighters said four injured people had been taken to local hospitals.

Their conditions were not immediately known.

Mr Cassante said church officials did not recognise the gunman or have any ideas about his motive.

“It’s so sad,” said Mr Cassante. “It’s hard to imagine the pain this has caused.”

Aerial view showing people gathering outside the Cathedral of Campinas Photograph: Ari Ferreira/AFP/Getty
Aerial view showing people gathering outside the Cathedral of Campinas Photograph: Ari Ferreira/AFP/Getty

Hamilton Caviola Filho, a police investigator, told news portal G1 that authorities had reviewed surveillance footage from inside the cathedral.

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.

Images on Globo News showed paramedics taking bodies and injured from the church.

Firefighter Alexandre Monteiro told G1 that the four injured were in stable condition.

The motive was not clear.

Authorities have yet to release the name or age of the suspect.

While Brazil leads the world in total annual homicides, mass shootings are relatively rare. – AP