A squad of police officers suspected of taking part in the execution-style killings of four people, among them a mum-to-be, has been suspended in Brazil.
Eight officers from the Military Police are reported to have been involved in the slaughter.
The victims’ bodies were found inside a car on kilometre 32 of the AM-010 state highway in Manaus, Amazonas, on Wednesday morning (21st December).
Videos have emerged of the same vehicle, a white Chevrolet Onix, being stopped by Military Police officers and two women being searched outside.
The footage shows the women facing a wall with their hands in the air as heavily armed police apparently question them.
The victims have been named as Diego Maximo Gemaque, Lilian Daiane Maximo Gemaque, Alexandre do Nascimento Melo, and Valeria Luciana Pacheco da Silva.
Diego, 33, and Lilian, 31, were siblings, while Alexandre, 29, and Valeria, 22, were a couple. The latter leave behind an infant son, who turns one year old in January.
Three of the bodies were found handcuffed and wearing balaclavas. Diego’s body was found in the boot of the vehicle. All had gunshot wounds.
The shots are believed to have been fired from outside the vehicle.
According to reports, Alexandre’s death was particularly cruel. He was found with multiple bullet wounds to the eyes.
Local media reported that Alexandre was the son of a Military Police officer and worked as a taxi driver.
The Military Police has said that the eight officers suspected of involvement in the deaths have been “removed from their functions until the investigations are concluded”.