By Dorah Feliciano, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A gunman entered the Metropolitan Cathedral of Campinas, in Sao Paulo state, on Tuesday afternoon, and fired at least twenty shots, killing four people and injuring another four. After being cornered, the shooter took his own life, according to witnesses.
“He picked up the gun and said, ‘Everyone to the back’,” saleswoman, Daniele Coutinho said to local TV station EPTV.
“Then he turned to me and said ‘If you do not go back I’m going to shoot you in the head’. There was an elderly man beside me who got his attention,” continued Coutinho. “When he shot the elderly guy, I ran out and the guard pulled me away,” concluded the saleswoman.
According to military police, the shooter, identified as Euler Fernando Gandolpho, entered the Cathedral just as the mid-day mass was ending and sat in the back.
Witnesses say that after a few minutes, the man stood up, turned around and shot three people sitting immediately behind him. One of those persons died, another was injured and the third was able to escape.
As people started running towards the alter at the other end of the Church, the shooter is said to have reloaded his gun and continued to shoot parishioners. Police officers walking by the Cathedral went in and engaged in a shootout with the gunman.
One of the four people injured was in critical condition on Wednesday at an area hospital, while another was under observation after undergoing surgery and the remaining two victims had been discharged.
Both current President Michel Temer and President-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, issued statements condoning the shooting and sending condolences to those involved.
“Deeply disturbed by the news of this crime committed inside the Cathedral of Campinas, I offer my condolences to the families of the victims. And I pray that the injured will have a speedy recovery,” President Temer wrote on his social media outlet.