Man kills 12 relatives, commits suicide at New Year’s Eve party in Brazil | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Man kills 12 relatives, commits suicide at New Year’s Eve party in Brazil

world Updated: Jan 01, 2017 22:20 IST
Near Year's Eve

Fireworks explode over Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 1.(REUTERS)

An armed man stormed a New Year’s Eve party in Brazil, fatally shooting his estranged wife and 11 other relatives before taking his own life, local media reported on Sunday.

The shooting took place shortly before midnight in the town of Campinas, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Sao Paulo, according to news reports that cited local police.

The 12 shooting victims, all members of the same family, had gathered to ring in the new year.

Police in the state of São Paulo said the shooter is believed to have been angry over a separation from his former wife, who was among those killed. Local media reports said the couple’s 8-year-old son also died.

A police spokesman could not confirm the identity or age of those killed or whether a child of the shooter, who also remains unidentified, was among the victims.

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Local media reported that a total of 15 people had been shot and several remain in critical condition.

A neighbor interviewed by the Globo television network said that he and family members heard blasts about a quarter to midnight but did not immediately recognize it as gunfire, not New Year fireworks.

Only when one of those shot ran into their property, bleeding and asking for help, did they realize that someone had been shooting. State police said they were called to the scene at 12:40 a.m. local time.

Although Brazil struggles with high rates of crime and violence, mass shootings are uncommon. Gun deaths are frequent in heists, holdups and in confrontations among police, drug gangs and other criminals, but shooting sprees like those often seen in the United States are not prevalent.

Campinas, an industrial and university city of over 1 million residents, is located about 100 kilometers northwest of the city of São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest metropolis.