According to a report by the Associated Press, eight people were killed when a Corinthians fan club gathering was interrupted by armed men who opened fire on the meeting. The report states seven people were killed at the scene and another was chased down and killed while escaping.
The fan club, Pavilhao 9, has ties to a now non-operational prison named the Carandiru Penitentiary. Local police said they are making progress in tracking down the killer, with a number of suspects named, but did not release a motive for fear of compromising the investigation. Police did confirm they have ruled out rival fan violence as a possible motive. Some reports have tabbed drug trafficking as the potential motive.
Corinthians did not make a public statement but did post on both Facebook and Twitter a black image with the word “Mourning.”
Local witnesses reportedly saw two armed men burst into the meeting below a highway overpass and force the fans gathered to lie down on the ground face-down before shooting seven of them in the back of the head.
The killings came less than 24 hours before Corinthians was scheduled to play a local Sao Paulo derby against Palmeiras.