A former soldier shot and killed a four-year-old boy at the child’s birthday party, an Incredible Hulk theme, police say.
Birthday girl Enzo dos Santos died after being shot up close to shocked parents, two siblings and other partygoers.
Police are still investigating whether the youngster was accidentally murdered or intentionally targeted when he was shot dead during the party in Piabeta, a city near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Pedro Pevidor, who had just left the military, is said to have destroyed the party and now insists that his revolver accidentally went off after falling to the ground.
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Pevidor, who bragged about his military background by posing in military outfits with weapons, including bazookas on social media, was arrested after the incident.
The 22-year-old, who has been remanded in custody on Tuesday after appearing before a judge in a closed court hearing, is being investigated for suspected murder.
Enzo’s father Douglas dos Santos, 37, has alleged that the alleged killer destroyed the party and he had to remove Pevidor’s car keys when he tried to flee after the shooting.
Enzo’s mother claimed to have heard a shot after an argument between Pevidor and children at the bash, it is said.
Douglas, whose wife rushed her son to the hospital where he died on Sunday shortly after arrival, told the local media in an emotional interview: “Enzo had asked us last month, ‘Is my birthday party tomorrow?’.
“He was very excited.
“We received them well and gave them food and drink, even though they were not invited.
“Everything happened when Enzo and his brother ran to hug their older sister when she arrived.
“One of the men shot my son up close.
“My six-year-old saw everything.”
He added, “The shooter says the weapon fell and went off.
“Many people came to see what had happened and someone called the police.
“The killer drove off and I stopped him by removing the key from the ignition and grabbing the weapon.”
Pevidor, who has reportedly repaired cell phones since leaving the military in February, is under investigation for suspicion of murder and illegal possession of a weapon whose serial number is said to have been removed.
The dead boy’s family is expected by officials Wednesday after his funeral so they can offer their version of the events.
A police spokesman said: “The police were called and informed at the place of arrival that a child had been shot and taken to a local medical center.
“A man has been taken into custody and a revolver has been confiscated.”