Brazilian Professional Surfer Dies After Shooting by Policeman

Brazilian professional surfer Ricardo dos Santos succumbed yesterday to gunshot wounds allegedly delivered by an off-duty police officer in Santa Catarina state.

Dos Santos, 24, was shot three times on Jan. 19 by a military police officer who was detained and given a toxicology test, according to the state military police. The shooting occurred outside Dos Santos’s house following an altercation, according to his Facebook page.

“This was truly a senseless loss of life,” Kelly Slater, the record 11-time World Surf League champion, posted on his own Facebook page. “It unfortunately brings to light the number of murders yearly in Brazil, officially documented at over 50,000 with many thousands more going unreported.”

Dos Santos specialized in riding inside the tube of waves and was featured on the cover of Surfer magazine in November. As a wild-card entrant at the 2012 Billabong Pro contest in Tahiti, part of the ASP World Championship Tour, he won an award for his performance that knocked Slater from the tournament.

Brazilian police killed six people per day in 2013, and 11,000 people from 2009 to 2013, according to an annual report released in November by watchdog organization Brazilian Forum of Public Security. Overall 53,646 people were killed in 2013, with Dos Santos’s Santa Catarina state possessing the second-lowest homicide rate: 12 per 100,000 residents.

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