FIVE people have been killed and several more injured in a shooting inside a cathedral in Brazil on Tuesday.
Police said that the gunman, who has been identified as Euler Fernando Grandolpho, launched the attack at the end of a midday mass in the RC Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception in Campinas, a city near São Paulo.
Mr Grandolpho shot and killed himself after opening fire on the congregation. The police have said he had no criminal record, and no obvious motive “except for his own madness”. Eyewitnesses said that the gunman had joined the service and sat down in the pews before suddenly, without warning, pulling out a pistol.
Pedro Rodrigues, who was inside the cathedral, said: “I saw a man get up and position himself in front of a couple, and he fired at point blank range at that couple. Then my reaction was to run out, and various other people left, running with me. The man continued shooting; there were a lot of shots.”
The mayor of Campinas has declared three days of mourning. A statement from the archdiocese of São Paulo said: “In this holy time of Advent, preparing the Christmas of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, it is necessary for Christians to intensify prayer for peace, with concrete gestures of fraternity, reconciliation, and love.
“As disciples of Christ and members of his body, the Church, we suffer with those who suffer, always driven by hope that does not disappoint. Let us pray for the victims and the comfort of their families. Let us pray for the aggressor, the archdiocese, and for peace.”
The President-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, described the shooting as a “barbaric crime”, and offered his “solidarity” to the victims and their loved ones.