Army officers in Rio de Janeiro opened fire on a family car in the west area of the city on Sunday and shot 80 times, killing the musician Evaldo Rosa dos Santos. His wife, seven-year-old son, a friend of the family, and his father-in-law were also in the car.
The action happened on Sunday afternoon in the Guadalupe neighborhood. According to a family member, the military officers did not approach the car before starting to fire shots at it.
The friend of the family who was in the vehicle told TV Globo that the officers kept shooting even after the passengers in the back seat tried to dodge the bullets carrying the child in their arms. A passerby was also wounded.
The local military authority released a statement after the operation arguing that the officers responded to a robbery in a nearby area, claiming that the people in the car allegedly committed “unfair aggression” against the troops before they were shot.
The chief of police Leonardo Salgado, of the Homicide Unit of Rio, made declarations saying that “it seems that the military officers really did mistake the car for the vehicle of the criminals. But there was a family in that car. There was no gun in it.”
“They [the military officers] have to be arrested,” the 29-year-old son of the musician, Daniel Rosa, told the newspaper O Globo. “How can they do something like that? My father was a good man, he has never done anything bad against anyone. And to die like that? With his car riddled with bullet holes. These people cannot carry guns. They are unprepared. I am taking this to the Legislative Assembly and wherever it may be necessary. President Jair Bolsonaro said the Army was here to protect us, not take lives. I want an answer from him too.”
Rosa said his seven-year-old brother won’t stop asking, “Where is my dad?”
A video disclosed by the news website Ponte Jornalismo shows residents gathering around the car after the shots were fired, while the police examined the vehicle. A person shouts at the military officers, “We are workers, you are killers.”
A bill signed into law in 2017 by the then president Michel Temer establishes that the killers of Evaldo Rosa dos Santos will be tried in a court-martial.
Edition: Pedro Ribeiro Nogueira