SAO PAULO – Four people were killed and four others wounded when gunmen opened fire on them from an automobile in Duque de Caxias, a city near Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian media reported Sunday.
The shooting occurred around 7:00 p.m. Saturday when a vehicle with three men inside went down the street where the victims were walking and opened fire on them, police in Rio de Janeiro said, citing information obtained from eyewitnesses.
Other eyewitnesses said gunmen in a second car also opened fire on the group, the Folha newspaper reported.
A 3-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy were among the four people wounded in the shooting.
No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting and the motive for the killings is not known, police spokesmen said.
Rio de Janeiro has been the scene in recent months of several violent incidents.
On July 15, four people died in a shootout between police and drug dealers in a poor section of the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.
One of those killed was the suspected leader of the gang that controls the Mangueira “favela,” or shantytown.
On May 12, four suspected drug traffickers were killed and a police officer was wounded during an anti-drug operation in the Manguinhos favela.
A shootout on April 1 between police and drug traffickers in a favela in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro’s main tourist district, left four people dead and two others wounded.
A week earlier, the Tabajaras favela’s residents were terrorized by a gang that tried to take control of the area.
At least five suspected gang members died in a shootout in Tabajaras with police while trying to flee in an automobile.
A few days later, police killed three other suspects in Rocinha, one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro, while looking for those responsible for the attack in Tabajaras.
On March 21, at least seven bystanders, including a 10-year-old boy, were wounded by stray bullets during a shootout between police and drug traffickers in Rio’s Vila Vintem shantytown.
At least nine people died on March 11 in four separate shootouts between police and drug traffickers in poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods.
Rio de Janeiro is plagued by constant clashes involving organized crime groups, the security forces and paramilitaries.
Two years ago, shortly before the Pan American Games started, Rio was the scene of clashes among police, militias and drug traffickers that left 20 people dead in just one day.