The husband of a famous Brazilian politician was shot and killed early Sunday morning in what police said has signs of being a targeted assassination.
Anderson do Carmo was followed to his Niteroi home by two men on motorcycles where authorities said he was shot and killed well exiting his car.
Carmo was a pastor and the husband of Flordelis dos Santos Souza, a famous gospel singer and federal deputy – a sort of congresswoman – for the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Brazilian site Extra reported that authorities were pursuing the possibility that a disagreement within the family may have motivated the killing. The site quoted a source with the police that also said the family's dog was drugged before the shooting.
Carmo and Santos Souza married shortly after meeting in 1993 well-conducting missionary work in Jacarezinho Favela in Rio de Janeiro. Following their marriage, they adopted 37 children. At the time of Carmo's death, the couple had 55 children.
Authorities said that Carmo was shot 15 times and that following the shooting he was rushed to a private hospital where medical staff could not revive him.
Technicians were still analyzing the crime scene Sunday and police said they would conduct a full investigation into Carmo's death.
Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, took to Twitter to express his condolences Sunday, saying that "I am saddened to hear of the death of Pastor Anderson Carmo, husband to federal deputy Flordelis. The crime will be investigated with rigor by the Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro. My condolences to the family, especially his wife and children.
The targeting of politicians and those close to them is nothing new in the state of Rio de Janeiro which has seen an uptick in the number of officeholders and associates that have been gunned down over the last several years. The death of Councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was shot and killed along with her driver last year, sent repercussions throughout Brazil and gained attention from around the world.
The murder of someone so closely related to such a high ranking politician is somewhat uncommon in Brazil, especially with the apparently planned and targeted nature of the killing. This may explain why police are pursuing the possibility that the motivation for the murder comes from within the family.
In a statement issued by an aid Sunday, the federal deputy said "The Flordelis family painfully must communicate the sudden passing of Pastor Anderson do Carmo, a servant of Jesus Christ. The deputy Flordelis is presently too distraught to comment on the situation publicly. At this moment, we hold the hand of God and beg for his comfort. Pastor Anderson was fulfilling a marvelous ministry, redeeming souls in the fight against hate due to an absence of God. Today is a tough Sunday in our lives. We ask for the prayers of everyone.”