Photo: Brazil Shantytown
A 12-year-old girl died Monday of a gunshot to the head during a shootout between police and members of a drug-trafficking gang in a shantytown here in Brazil’s second city, authorities said.
The incident occurred in Para Pedro, a “favela” in the area north of Rio de Janeiro.
The young girl was hit by a stray bullet and was taken still alive to a medical facility in a nearby neighborhood, but soon passed away from the gravity of her wound, Rio state police Lt. Col. Luiz Carlos Leal said.
The girl’s uncle was shot in the arm but his life is not in danger.
The guns of the three cops who took part in the shootout were impounded to try and determine whether one of them fired the fatal shot, Leal said.
Police occupied the shantytown on Dec. 14 to end the clashes between rival crime gangs fighting for control of narcotics sales there.
Since then, four suspected drug traffickers have been killed and 12 others arrested.
After the young girl died, a group of Para Pedro residents blocked a busy street for 20 minutes with stacks of burning tires to protest the police action, and also tried to set a bus on fire.
Police used tear gas to break up the protest