A boy aged one-and-a-half has died after he was shot in the stomach as he was getting his hair cut in a barbershop during a gangland assassination of two men.
The fatal incident took place in the city of Mesquita in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro on the afternoon of Monday, 25th October.
Mario Neto Ferreira Lourenco was with his dad and older brother in the barbershop where he was getting his hair cut when he was hit by the bullet.
He was taken to the General Hospital in the neighbouring city of Nova Iguacu, but he succumbed to his injuries.
His three-year-old brother Theo was grazed on the ankle by a bullet. He was also taken to hospital and has since been discharged.
According to the police, the incident unfolded when a red car passed through the neighbourhood of Jacutinga and a hooded man got out and opened fire at a man named Renan Felipe Batista Nunes, age unknown, at the gate of his house.
The hooded man got back into the car, which travelled for some 800 metres (0.5 mi), before he got out again and shot at a 24-year-old man named Ruan Batista de Souza.
Ruan tried to flee from his attacker and ended up running into the barbershop where Mario was getting his hair cut.
Ruan was killed at the scene and Mario was shot in the stomach. Renan was taken in a critical condition to the same hospital as Mario, but he also succumbed to his injuries.
Mario is now the fourth child to have been shot dead in the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Region this year.
His dad Lucas Lourenco posted on social media: “Today, my son left us. He lost his life as he was getting his hair cut at the hairdresser’s, a victim of violence in the State of Rio de Janeiro.
“How long are we going to lose loved ones for? My prince was one year and six months old. Lord, have mercy. There’s a lot of pain in my soul.”
Mario will be buried today (Wednesday, 27th October) in the Cemetery of Xerem in the nearby city of Duque de Caxias.
The police are investigating whether militiamen were involved in the attack.
Brazilian militias are illegal paramilitary groups made up of current and former law enforcement and military officers.
They started out as community self-defence organisations, but now carry out vigilante and organised crime activities in the favelas.