SAO PAULO – A gunman later identified as 49-year-old Euler Fernando Grandolpho opened fire Tuesday against parishioners during midday mass at the Campinas Cathedral (95 km northwest of Sao Paulo), killing at least six of them and wounding several others, it was reported.
The assailant eventually took his own life.
“An individual entered a church and fired shots at some people, so far there are six dead and three wounded,” said a police statement.
According to testimonies from the police and medical units that came to the place, the man fired both a revolver and a pistol, but a picture of him dead that went viral showed only one gun in his right hand.
A press release from the archdiocese of Campinas indicated that “the cathedral is closed in order to provide care to the victims” and facilitate the investigation. “We have the prayers of everyone in this moment of deep pain,” it added.
Grandolpho lived in nearby Valinhos with his father, whose Catholic faith drove the attacker to grow a hatred towards that religion. He was also reported to have been very much a gallant among women but who was under a severe depression.
Parts of the attack are said to have been recorded by the Cathedral’s security cameras. According to sources who claimed to have watched the tapes, Grandolpho fired over 20 shots with his two guns, killing those closest to him first and then he walked down the aisle towards the altar, at which point the recording stops.
Although not rare in other parts of the world, such an attack is most unusual in Brazil.–MercoPress