In Brief

Brazil cathedral shooting: five dead in church attack

Shooter identified as a 49-year-old systems analyst with no criminal record

A gunman opened fire inside a Brazilian cathedral yesterday, killing four people and wounding seven others before turning the gun on himself.

Euler Fernando Gandolfo, 49, opened fire moments after the end of midday mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception in Campinas, near Sao Paulo.

CCTV footage of the attack shows worshippers running from the church and throwing themselves behind pews to shield themselves from the rampage.

At least 20 shots were fired, according to Father Amauri Thomazzi, who had just finished conducting the mass when the tragedy occurred.

After a brief standoff with police, Gandolfo shot himself in front of the altar.

One of the victims has been named as 39-year-old Sidnei Victor Monteiro, whose mother was among those wounded in the attack, the Brazilian daily O Globo reports.

Police are still working to establish why Gandolfo, a systems analyst with no criminal history, carried out the attack. It is one of the most deadly mass shootings in recent Brazilian history. 

The gunman carried out the massacre with a 9mm army issue handgun whose serial number had been scratched off, O Globo reports. He also carried a .38 calibre revolver, which was not fired during the attack.

Brazil’s incoming president Jair Bolsonaro, who will take office on 1 January, has made relaxing the country’s gun control laws one of his main campaign promises.

The right-wing populist says that law-abiding citizens must be able to protect themselves with firearms, which are currently restricted to police officers and those able to prove a specific need for a weapon.

But security experts argue that more guns could inflate Brazil’s “already high crime rates”, says the Washington Post.

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