By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An American diplomat was shot Thursday (November 23rd) near Angra dos Reis, in the southern region of Rio de Janeiro state. Vice Consul Stephanie Bohlen and her husband, Jace Joseph Salas, were attacked while stopped on the shoulder of the BR-101 Highway around 9PM.
According to the Federal Highway Police (PRF), the two were shot at, and the diplomat was hit in the foot. The case was recorded as attempted robbery.
Reports from local media say Bohlen and her husband, Jace Joseph Salas, were sitting in their car on the shoulder of the Rio-Santos Highway, in order to operate their GPS. While the vehicle was stopped, they were approached by a man, and frightened, Salas accelerated the car as shots were fired at them.
The police spokesman Bruno Gilaberte, of the 166th DP (Angra dos Reis), said Salas drove the car until he found PRF agents. “They spotted two men on the other side of the lane and were suspicious of their behavior. As they attempted to leave, they fired two shots at the vehicle. One of them hit her foot,” explained Gilaberte.
Angra dos Reis, meaning “Kings’ Harbor”, is just a couple of hours away by car southwest from the city of Rio along the Costa Verde (Green Coast). Most travelers come to know the area as the main ferry point to the rustic yet famous island getaway, Ilha Grande.
Just this past August, Angra dos Reis made international headlines when an English tourist was shot and wounded there after her family’s car entered a favela community by mistake.
Conor Brady, an Irish expatriate that has lived in Brazil since 2006, and owner of Animamos, a Brazilian company that produces corporate videos in all languages, shares that he usually drives along the BR 101 when going toward Angra dos Reis, but admits the bus is probably safest.
As far as driving there, he shares, “I don’t think it’s more dangerous than anywhere [else] in Brazil, nowhere in Brazil should you stop on the side of the road where you don’t know. […] just plan your trip before, have your google maps on, have a phone charger, stick to the main road and there should be very low chance of anything happening.”