By Mark Shannon, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – American musician based in Rio, Emmanuel Gilligan, has been shot and seriously injured in a bungled armed robbery in the district of Recreio dos Bandeirantes in Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone). Gilligan is singer and lead guitarist for local band ArizonA, who have played regularly everywhere from Shenanigan’s bar to the annual America’s Day, put on by the American Society of Rio.

ArizonA band frontman and guitarist, Emmanuel Gilligan, photos courtesy Julia Scott.
ArizonA band frontman and guitarist, Emmanuel Gilligan, was shot and seriously injured in Recreio dos Bandeirantes, photos courtesy Julia Scott.

The attack, which happened on March 5th is alleged to have happened after gunmen were tipped off that Mr. Gilligan, known as Eman, had withdrawn R$5,000 from a local bank.

Mr. Gilligan was initially followed and approached by armed robbers after he had pulled up outside a friend’s house but managed to escape, only for the assailants to catch up with him.

He was then shot through the lower part of his shoulder, across his back, puncturing a lung, and left for dead. The gunmen fled the scene, a busy street at around 1PM, without the money.

Speaking to The Rio Times, Mr. Gilligan’s wife, Julia Scott, said her husband is now recovering in a Rio hospital in a stable condition; however, a spinal cord injury sustained in the attack appears to have paralyzed him from the chest down.

Ms. Scott believes the attack, which she described as “unusual,” is directly linked to the withdrawal of the large sum of money, destined to pay the final installment on a house, and says she has since been made aware of similar cases.

She says the fact that the incident happened just a few blocks from a police station, the time of day and how busy the area is, may be why the attackers left without taking the money: “I love Rio; I love Brazil. I’ve lived here sixteen years. But people have to know that these things happen.”

Police are continuing with their investigation and anyone with information is urged to contact the 42nd Police Delegation (42ª Delegacia de Polícia Civil, near Shopping Recreio) on (21) 2332-8039, quoting crime reference 042-01709/2013.

Find out more and provide your support at the web site created by his family.

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. Our thoughts & prayers go out to Emmanuel & his family!! I had the honor of singing with Emmanuel a few years ago in Shenanigan Bar!!

  2. Shocking piece of news, who sells information like that to whom? Selling info on ‘cash carriers’happens in lots of places… they just shoot so easy here! $5k… bastards! Best wishes to you & your family. Just about to move to Rio :)

  3. What a tragedy that this happened to such a good natured and peaceful man. Targeted like this over money, it seems clear to me that the perpetrators had “inside” knowledge of what Eman was carrying, how would they know otherwise? He could have just as likely been depositing money.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and our family.

  4. As both the President of the American Society as well as the Director of Rio International School I have had the pleasure of having ArizonA play at our events. I have their cd’s and have enjoyed listening to the bands “expat” sound with many others in Rio. This is a tragic event which hurts our community and causes us to reflect on the preciousness of life. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist in your certain recovery.

    Eman & the Gilligan family, our RIS school community is praying for you and the American Societies thoughts are with you during this time.

  5. Praying for you Eman, to make it through, miracles are not impossible! you are one of my most favourite musicians of today! Love and prayers to his wife Julia and wonderful family!

  6. Eman and his family have given their lives to those in need in Brazil. I truly hope and pray that those in power will give back now in this difficult time. They are so full of endless love for the country and belief in the work they have done.
    Love to the Gilligan family.

  7. So sorry to hear news like this. However, I will keep Mr. Gilligan and his family in my prayers.

  8. I participated in Emans fund raiser this past Saturday down in Dickinson, TX and although it was a joyous occasion for those of us that were there, there was a number of occasions that I stopped to think about E-man being crippled and bed ridden. Here we were enjoying the camaraderie of other good Christians and fun loving people that attended in Emans honor and it hurt my heart to think about Eman and his on going suffering caused by the actions of a callous and stupid young man. The perpetrators of this heinous crime are probably not even aware of the damage they have inflicted on this gentle and loving man but the fact remains that the trigger man will be confronted in the here-after by our Lord Jesus Christ. We may have a forgiving God but I certainly would not want to be that person responsible for putting Eman into a life struggle that is a fate worse than death itself. May God have mercy on that mans sole.


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