A mob of people enraged over the death of a 1-year-old girl in a law-enforcement operation set fire to the police station in the northeastern Brazilian town of Amargosa and also torched 30 motorcycles and 19 other vehicles, including a bus, authorities said Thursday.
Shortly after police shot the young child in the head during a pursuit of a suspected thief Wednesday night, dozens of people burst into the police station, took possession of the officers’ weapons and freed 16 individuals jailed inside the building.
After setting fire to the station house, the mob extended their protest to neighboring streets and set fire to vehicles in their path.
The arson attacks were spearheaded by relatives and neighbors of the young girl, who was killed inside her home when police fired at the residence after the suspected thief broke in to hide.
The violence forced the police chief, judge and prosecutor of Amargosa, located in Bahia state, to take refuge in a hotel.
Bahia police sent reinforcements to Amargosa, located 240 kilometers (150 miles) from Salvador, the state capital.
The state’s public safety secretary, Mauricio Barbosa, and police chief, Heloisa Campos, also traveled to the town on Thursday.
Investigators were inspecting all of the police officers’ service weapons in a bid to determine which was used to kill the minor, and they also have opened administrative and criminal proceedings.