It has been reported that several world tour surfers were witness to a shooting near the Oi Rio Pro contest site on Sunday.
Conner Coffin and Carissa Moore were walking home from lunch when they saw a man get shot in the torso, around a block away from the contest area. It’s thought that the victim of the shooting, whose fate is unknown, had been attempting to rob a parked vehicle, and that the shooter was the vehicle’s owner. Stephanie Gilmore, Keanu Asing and Dusty Payne were also nearby at the time of the incident.
“It was me, Carissa and a couple guys from Hurley,” Coffin told Stab Mag. “At first I thought it was fire crackers, then someone yelled gun and we all just jumped.”
“We saw this guy trying to get away from the man wielding a pistol at the gas station. He jumped on a motorcycle, he was shot and bleeding. It was pretty gnarly. I thought he got away, but I heard later that he was seen lying in the street. It’s definitely the sketchiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
The anti-Brazil lobby has been swift to point out that this isn’t the first time the Brazilian leg of the world tour has been marred by unsporting behaviour. Last year, Filipe Toledo was mobbed by fans and had his winning stick wrenched from his grasp as he left the water following his victory in the final of the Oi Rio Pro. Several years before that, in a more sinister incident, Michel Bourez was kidnapped at gunpoint and bundled into a car while walking home from a bar, although he managed to escape soon after when the car stopped at a red light. And going back a little further, Shane Dorian reportedly had his surfboard stolen at gunpoint shortly after winning an event in the country.
So passionate, those Brazilians!
But statistically speaking, Rio is far safer than many other parts of Brazil, and in fact you’re much more likely to get lit up in many US cities. Rio’s murder rate for 2015 was estimated at 18.6 per 100,000 people, making it considerably less dangerous than St. Louis (59.23), Baltimore (54.98) and Detroit (43.89).