CAMPINAS, Brazil – A man armed with two handguns killed four people inside the Catholic cathedral in this Brazilian city on Tuesday before turning one of the guns on himself, authorities said.
The attack came right at the end of the midday Mass, when a 49-year-old man got up from one of the pews and began firing indiscriminately at the gathered faithful.
The shooter got off at least 20 shots at people who were finishing their prayers.
Police stationed in the square outside entered the cathedral when they heard the first shots and “has just reached” the attacker when he put one of the guns to his head and fired, killing himself, police Maj. Adriano Augusto said.
Five people died at the scene, including the shooter, and four others were wounded and taken to local hospitals.
One of the wounded is 84 years old and is in critical condition after being hit by bullets in the chest and abdomen, according to the Campinas health department.
Police launched an investigation to determine the motives of the shooter, identified as Euler Fernando Grandolpho, in committing the massacre, police inspector Jose Henrique Ventura, who is in charge of the case, said at a press conference.
According to the preliminary investigation, the shooter had no criminal record and acted alone.
At the time of the attack, there were relatively few people still inside the cathedral, given that Mass had ended a few minutes earlier and many had already left.
A 75-year-old woman told EFE that she was buying some bracelets inside the cathedral when the shooting commenced.
“I ran out down the stairs and jumped three steps at a time,” she said. “I hid in a store and asked them to lock all the doors. I had never seen anything like it, someone shooting other people, killing people like that.”
The cathedral is located on a main business street in Campinas, a city of roughly 1 million people about 100 km (60 mi.) from Sao Paulo.