Two cousins, seven and four, have been shot dead while playing outside a front door, and their relatives accuse the police of firing the shots.
The crime took place in the Santo Antonio neighbourhood of the Brazilian municipality of Duque de Caxias on 4th December.
Four-year-old Emilly Victoria was shot in the head and seven-year-old Rebeca Beatriz Rodrigues dos Santos was hit in the abdomen.
According to family members, the two cousins were playing outside the front door of a property when they were shot.
Two other girls they were playing with managed to run away, according to local media.
According to the girls’ grandmother, Lidia Santos, the pair were waiting for her on the pavement to buy a snack as she was coming home from work.
Santos told local media: “I heard at least 10 shots.”
Family members of the girls believe the shots were fired by the police.
The police have confirmed that they were patrolling the area at the time, but deny having fired the shots.
Neighbours rushed the girls to a local hospital, but they succumbed to their wounds. They were buried alongside each other on 5th December.
Another police department has seized five pistols and five rifles from the five police officers who were on patrol.
The police officers in question have given evidence and an investigation is underway.
Local NGO ‘Rio de Paz’ has speculated that the girls may have been killed by stray bullets.
An older cousin of the girls, Ana Lucia Alves de Souza, told local media: “They’ve destroyed two families. A four-year-old child and a seven-year-old child who had their whole lives ahead of them.”
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