Professional surfer Ricardo Dos Santos has died after being shot three times on the beach outside his house yesterday. It’s believed that Dos Santos sustained the fatal wounds, one of which punctured his lung and kidney, after confronting a group of people near his home in Embaú Guard, Brazil.
Dos Santos was air lifted to a near by hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. However, despite the best efforts of the surgeons, and going into an induced coma, he died in the night.
There are conflicting reports as to the actual events of the fatal shooting, and the facts remain unclear at the time of writing. Some news agencies say that one of the gunmen arrested was an off-duty police officer, while others report that it was an off-duty soldier.
However, following the shooting, Military police have released a statement saying that a 25 year old soldier and his 17 year old brother have been arrested. At this time, they are the only two people suspected of the shooting.
The statement goes on to confirm that the off-duty military officer was willing to commit to a drug test after giving his testimony at the local police station.
Tributes have poured in for the 24 year old surfer, who was immensely popular both with fellow pros and with fans:
“Beautiful morning but I was horrified to realize everyone was paddling out to Pipe to form a circle in remembrance of my friend, Ricardo Dos Santos, who passed away in hospital after being shot three times yesterday in Brasil.
“Ricardo was truly one of the great barrel riders of his short time (myself and a few others learned that the hard way against him at Teahupo’o a couple years back when he won the Andy Irons Award in the event).
“He also won the #WaveOfTheWinter in 2012-2013 for a crazy barrel at Pipeline and was a regular standout in any barreling or heavy conditions around the world. This was truly a senseless loss of life.
“It unfortunately brings to light the number of murders yearly in Brasil, officially documented at over 50,000 with many thousands more going unreported.
“Lack of education, poverty, and drugs don’t make for a good mix and make life challenging in this country, one of the most beautiful and scariest places I’ve been.
“Condolences to Ricardo’s friends and family around the world. Our small community has lost another way too soon. #HardToBelieve”
trans. “Ricardinho, you do not deserve this! Not ever! Why does it happen to good people? I do not understand that! You were a good person, always helping others, smiling from ear to ear every day. God comfort your family“
“So sad to hear the news of Ricardo Dos Santos passing. Prayers and thoughts to his family. I didn’t know him really well but he was always kind enough to say hi when ever we saw each other.
“Loved big tubes and rode them extremely well. May he Rest In Peace”
Our thoughts lie with the family and friends of Ricardo Dos Santos.