Published: Thu, December 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Gunman kills four worshippers during mass at cathedral

Gunman kills four worshippers during mass at cathedral

A gunman opened fire on a church in the Brazilian city of Campinas on Tuesday, killing four people before turning the gun on himself, CNN affiliate Record TV reported.

A backpack found near the dead gunman had his identification but no note or other clues, police investigator Jose Henrique Ventura said. The shooter entered the church around 1:25 p.m., according to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil. Firefighter Alexandre Monteiro told G1 that the four injured were in stable condition.

Danielle Coutinho told EPTV that she was sitting in the church chatting after Mass when the shooting began.

Surveillance cameras showed the man entered the church like any other worshipper and sat in the back for a few minutes before getting up and firing his gun, a 9 mm handgun used by security forces, Baggio said.

Paramedics were also seen treating several people outside the cathedral and there were multiple police cars in the street.

The archdiocese of Sao Paulo on its Facebook page said that the killings provoked "deep pain", adding that the cathedral would be closed for as long as needed for police investigation.

Brazil had almost 64,000 murders a year ago - more than any other country, according to the United Nations.

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Brazil is routinely the world leader in total homicides, though mass shootings are rare.

Bolsonaro, who takes office on Jan 1, plans to ease gun laws to allow Brazilians to arm themselves against criminals, a policy his critics say will only increase the murder rate.

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

It said "as well as (the gunman), four people died and four people were wounded".

The gunman was armed with two weapons and fired at least 20 times before police confronted him and he committed suicide in front of the altar.

Father Amaury Thomazi, who celebrated Mass before the shooting, posted a video recounting the chaos that followed the burst of gunfire.

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