By Kent Larsen
Missionary Shooting Leads to Death, Arrest in Brazilian Slum
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- Police in Rio de Janeiro have killed one man and
arrested another as they stepped up patrols in the slum where an LDS
missionary and his father where shot Saturday night. Police increased their
force in the neighborhood from six to 28 men following the shooting, and
subsequently killed a 27-year-old man in a gun battle and arrested another
man, who was carrying large quantities of cocaine, hashish and marijuana.
Meanwhile, doctors at Samaritano Hospital say that Bradley Green and his
father, Garth Green, could be released as early as Friday.
News reports of Saturday's incident are beginning to make clear what
happened. Bradley Green recently finished his term of service as a
missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his
parents, Garth and Wendy Green had come to Rio de Janeiro to meet their son.
Saturday they had traveled from their hotel in Rio de Janeiro to the Sao
Goncalo suburb. After attending an LDS Church event there, they were
returning to the hotel in a heavy rain at about 8pm when Garth Green, who
was driving, made a wrong turn that put them on Brazil Avenue, instead of
heading to the southern part of the city.
As they tried to turn around near the entrance to the Vila do Joao slum, two
men on a motorcycle tried to wave them down, yelling at them. Spotting a
gun, Bradley Green told his father, who doesn't understand portuguese, to
"Go!" and the elder Green stepped on the gas. The two men, who apparently
wanted to steal the car, then shot at the vehicle, hitting it at least a
dozen times. Garth Green was shot in both arms and in the chest, while
Bradley Green was hit in an arm and in the stomach.
An account of the incident given by family members to the Salt Lake Tribune
says that when the men started shooting, Garth Green went limp, leading
Bradley Green to turn to his father to give him a blessing. But before he
could begin, he too was hit and went limp. Wendy Green, who was sitting in
the back seat of the car, was not injured.
Wendy Green told a Brazilian newspaper that the car then hit a store, "Our
car hit a store after they shot at us. My husband began to pale and I was
terrified. I am very thankful to the people who helped us. The people who
live here are special." Wendy Green says that the family also had other
help. "God was at our side," she told reporters, crying with relief as she
entered the Samaritan Hospital on Sunday.
According to the Tribune report, a group of Americans in a van who happened
to be driving by stopped to assist them and drove the two men to the
hospital. However, Brazilian news reports say that the family managed to
drive the rented car into the entrance of the Vila do Joao slum where
residents helped get them to the General Hospital Bonsucesso, in the
northern part of the city.
At the hospital both Greens underwent surgery to have the bullets removed.
They were then transferred to the Samaritano Hospital, in the southern part
of the city, where they have been in intensive care. According to the
hospital, Garth Green may lose some movement in his arms because of his
injuries. Both men are expected to remain in intensive care through Friday,
the day after they were to return to the US.
The shooting shocked many in Brazil, and local newspapers have covered the
incident, in part because it is the third violent attack on foreigners so
far this year. This led two television news teams, from the Brazilian
networks SBT and TVE, to try to retrace the movements of the Greens, filming
However, when the teams reached the entrance of Vila do Joao, they were also
confronted, this time by about 10 armed men, who demanded the videotape with
their reports on the attack on the Greens. A reporter, Marcelo Castilho of
SBT, and a producer, Solage Vasconcellos of TVE, both had guns pointed at
their heads during that incident, which happened Monday morning. The
journalists were released after they gave up their videotape.
Meanwhile, police have responded to the publicity, increasing their presence
in the slum from six officers to 28 (although one account says that they put
80 officers in the area). In subsequent gun battles between the police and
the drug gangs that control the slum, police say that a 27-year-old man,
Jose de Arimateia dos Santos Filho was hit by a stray bullet and killed,
while another man, Alex Sarmento, ws shot in the left leg. In addition,
police arrested Edmilson Marques, 19, charging him with possession of 165
packages of cocaine, 122 bags of marijuana and 21 balls of hashish.
Jornalistas assaltados na Vila do Joao
[Journalists assaulted in Vila do Joao]
O Globo 13Mar01 N2
Estado de mormons baleados em favela do Rio e grave
[Status of Mormons Shot in Rio Slum is Serious]
Brasil Online (Reuters) 12Mar01 N2
Turistas americanos sao baleados no Rio
[American Tourists Shot in Rio]
O Estado de Sao Paulo 11Mar01 N2
By Clarissa Thome
Terror no acesso a Vila do Joao
[Terror at the Entrance to Vila do Joao]
O Dia 12Mar01 N2
By Clarissa Monteagudo and Pedro Landim
Mormons americanos sao baleados no Rio
[American Mormons are Shot in Rio]
O Povo 12Mar01 N2
Americana da uma nova versao [American Woman Gives New Version]
O Dia 13Mar01 N2
Family Counts Blessings After Missionary, Father Survive Shooting
Salt Lake Tribune 13Mar01 N2
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune
Equipes de TV tem fitas tomadas por traficantes
[TV Crews have Tapes Taken by Drug Traffickers]
O Povo 13Mar01 N2
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