Spanish tourist accidentally shot by police in Brazil

28th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

28 September 2007, RIO DE JANEIRO - EFE - A Spanish tourist and an Italian visitor to the Brazilian city of Fortaleza were wounded by gunshots fired by police, who apparently confused them with robbers trying to make a getaway.

28 September 2007

RIO DE JANEIRO - EFE - A Spanish tourist and an Italian visitor to the Brazilian city of Fortaleza were wounded by gunshots fired by police, who apparently confused them with robbers trying to make a getaway.

The two European men - along with two women, one Spaniard and one Brazilian, who were unharmed - were riding in a vehicle that Fortaleza police said they mistook for another carrying the fleeing robbers.

The incident occurred Wednesday night in Fortaleza, the capital of the northeastern state of Ceara, which has become a popular tourist destination because of its beaches and year-round tropical climate.

Spaniard Marcelino Ruiz, 38, suffered the most serious injury - a bullet wound in the spine that could render him paraplegic, a spokesman for Spain's honorary consulate in Fortaleza told Efe.

Ruiz had arrived in Fortaleza for a short vacation just minutes before the incident in the company of the Spanish woman, who did not want to be identified until talking with her relatives.

Both were picked up at the airport by Italian Inozenzo Brancatio, a friend of the couple who suffered a less serious bullet wound in the arm, and his wife, Brazilian Denise Campos.

The car in which the couples were riding to Brancatio's residence, a black Toyota Hilux pickup truck, was apparently mistaken by police for another of the same make and color that had just been used in a robbery.

Police said they ordered the driver of the vehicle to stop and, when that command was not obeyed, began shooting. The tourists, for their part, said they received no such warning before the bullets were fired.

The vehicle carrying the two couples had 18 bullet holes and two of its tires were punctured.

Ruiz was initially taken to a public hospital but was transferred Thursday to a private clinic better equipped to attend to him, the diplomatic spokesman said. EFE

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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