By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Rio de Janeiro’s police announced over the weekend that they have arrested one of the men they suspect shot and wounded a British tourist last Sunday (August 6th) in Angra dos Reis, in the southern region of the state.
The suspect was arrested on Saturday (August 12th) after being shot during a confrontation between police and a group of criminals in the community where the incident occurred a week earlier. Three men were shot and two died at the scene.
The third, known as Jackson, was taken to the same one where the tourist was operated on, and according to authorities is stable.
According to officer Bruno Gilaberte, who heads the 166th precinct the suspect is also said to be the leader of the drug trafficking in the Agua Santa community, where British tourist Eloise Dixon, 46, was shot.
“Although we can not yet claim that the suspect is responsible for the shootings, he is being investigated in the incident with the (British) tourist. The inquiry will be completed by the end of the week,” Gilaberte told G1 news website over the weekend.
Two bullets struck Dixon when she, her husband and three daughters inadvertently entered with their rented vehicle a poor community in Angra dos Reis. One shot grazed her upper torso while the other one perforated her abdomen.
Dixon was operated at the Japuíba General Hospital in Angra dos Reis and transferred to a private hospital in Copacabana last week. According to the hospital’s press office the British national is still hospitalized and her condition is stable.
As one of Rio’s most popular getaways, Angra dos Reis attracts thousands of tourists every weekend. The shooting incident, however, has left the city’s tourist board fearful of a decline in tourist in the months ahead.
“As responsible for the development of tourism in the region we defend an immediate reinforcement in the policing of the region, the allocation of official and private funds for public safety and the strengthening of initiatives aimed at the economic recovery of the municipality,” Carlos Henrique Vasconcelos of TurisAngra told reporters last week. Despite Vasconcelos pleas, neither local authorities or state authorities have announced any plans for extra security in the region.