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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 16, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 13Mar01

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 the neighborhood.

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

Translation of the articles above in Portuguese is available using online translation services such as Lycos Translation:
Simply copy and paste the article URL into the box provided, and the entire story will be translated.


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information