SAO PAULO – Armed men gunned down eight members of a radical fan group for Corinthians, one of Brazil’s most popular soccer teams, although police on Sunday ruled out linking the massacre to a fight among rival teams’ supporters.
The killings occurred after 11 p.m. on Saturday in front of the Pavilhão Nove group’s headquarters in the city of Sao Paulo, near the municipality of Osasco.
The Militarized Police found seven bodies lying in the street in front of the fan club’s headquarters and beneath the Remedios bridge.
Another man was found wounded at a nearby gas station and taken to a local hospital, where he died from his bullet wounds, a Sao Paulo Militarized Police spokesman told Efe.
The eight victims were all fans of Corinthians, said police, who as yet have no clues as to who committed the massacre, although one hypothesis they are considering is that it was a settling of drug scores, given that two of the dead had criminal records for drug trafficking.
The Civil Police official in charge of the case, Arlindo Jose Negrão Vaz, ruled out that the killings could be the result of a fight between groups of soccer hooligans.
On Sunday, Corinthians faces off against Palmeiras, one of its top rivals, in the Sao Paulo regional championship semifinals.
According to Negrão Vaz, three men entered the fan club’s headquarters, ordered the victims to the ground and killed them execution style. A number of 9 mm shell casings were found at the scene.
Police are analyzing security camera videotape from a nearby gas station, to which the mortally wounded man fled and then collapsed.