Tests have confirmed that Luis Paolo Mota Brentano, who shot Ricardo dos Santos three times on the Monday of last week, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the time of the shooting.
Mota’s blood test, taken 6 hours after the shooting, revealed a blood alcohol content of 13 decigrams per litre, or 0.13%. To put that in perspective, the legal limit for driving in most European countries, including France, Spain and Portugal, is 0.05%, while in the UK and USA that figure rises to 0.08%. Given the delay between the incident itself and the subsequent blood test, Mota’s blood alcohol content was most likely much higher when the shots were fired. Maximiliano Losso Bunn, a state judge for Santa Catarina, the state where the shooting occured, said Mota was “severely inebriated.”
There were no signs of drugs, however, in the off-duty military police officer’s system, which would seem to discount several early hypotheses. It had been widely reported in the immediate aftermath of the incident that dos Santos’s assailant was high on drugs, and even that the confrontation was a direct result of the Brazilian surfer’s objections to Mota and his younger brother taking drugs in full view of the street. The latter theory was disputed by Ricardo’s uncle, however, who said the pair’s car was obstructing the construction work being carried out on the house of Ricardo’s grandfather.
Dos Santos’s post-mortem confirmed what several witness reports had already suggested — that one of the shots fired by Mota had been in the back. According to the uncle of dos Santos, who witnessed the shooting, this was the first shot fired. The development further undermines Mota’s claims that he was acting in self-defence, but it is a story that Mota is sticking to. On Sunday Mota released the following statement via his lawyer:
“I would like through this statement to address publicly the situation involving Ricardo dos Santos — to make it known that I regret sincerely and profoundly what happened, and to wish strength and peace to the families and friends of both him and myself in what I am sure is a time of great suffering.
However, I wish to record that in fact I acted in legitimate self-defence and in defence of my little brother, whose testimony will be produced in due course. I hope that the determination of the facts is not impaired by the great social uproar.
I want to make clear that from the very first moment I have cooperated fully with the investigation, submitting myself for examination and reporting everything promptly to my superiors.
Those who know me and have worked with me know that I would never shoot anyone except to defend myself or others. As for those who do not know me, I pray that they excercise caution and prudence when PRE-judging me.”
Our very rough translation should not be treated as definitive; the original Portuguese can be found here.
Diario Catarinense has reported that, in the months prior to the shooting of dos Santos, Mota continued working on the streets as a military police officer despite recommendations by the Ministério Público that he be withdrawn. This information contradicts what the military police itself reported earlier this week. Although Mota was allegedly relegated to a more administrative level seven months ago, police reports show that Mota was present at several incidents — including one that ended in the death of a suspect. The Ministério Público’s recommendation was based on Mota’s record as a military police officer; Mota has previously faced two charges from the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Santa Catarina, for abuse of authority, bodily injury, threat and home invasion.