By BosNewsLife Americas Service with reporting by Vatican Radio’s James Blears
BRASILIA, BRAZIL (BosNewsLife)– Local authorities in Brazil continued investigating Sunday, January 12, the murder of an evangelical pastor at his church in the city of Belo Horizonte.
Pastor Charles Vidal de Souza was attacked Friday, January 10, by two gunmen in the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Belo Horizonte, some 700 kilometers (400 miles) southeast of the capital Brasilia, police said.
The 34-year-old church leader, who was shot at close tange, collapsed and died shortly after arriving at hospital, according to investigators.
He was reportedly found in an office in the church where there were signs of a struggle.
Nothing appeared to have been taken when attackers fled, escaping in a waiting car.
Police said they were investigating whether the assailants shot the pastor in the course of a robbery or the killing was planned.
He was murdered in a middle-class neighbourhood of Belo Horizonte, the state capital of Minas Gerais.
The case has underscored national concern about gun violence, which is rampant throughout the South American nation. Yet, attempts at banning the sale of guns have failed and a 2005 referendum on the issue was defeated by a clear majority.