Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Dead After Reportedly Being 'Shot By Off-Duty Police Officer'

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Leandro Lo has died after being fatally shot.
Credit: Thiago Santos / Alamy
The 33-year-old world champion was at a concert in São Paulo, Brazil, when he reportedly got into a fight with another man and was taken to hospital but declared brain-dead on Sunday (August 7), as reported by BBC News.

According to a report on MMA Fighting, off-duty military police officer Henrique Otavio Oliviera Velozo was arrested on suspicion of shooting the fighter. Velozo reportedly fled the scene, per BBC News, but later handed himself in to the police. Law enforcement has opened an investigation for attempted murder.

The altercation allegedly began after the suspect approached the world champion and his friends and tried to provoke him by making threatening motions with a glass bottle.

It has been claimed that the man's threatening manner prompted Lo to immobilize him, and a few minutes later the pair were broken up by witnesses just before the fatal shooting happened.

According to Ivan Siqueira Junior, the lawyer for the fighter's family, the suspect kicked Lo twice while he was already lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to his head.

Siqueira also claimed that Lo and his friends had tried to stop the incident from escalating but he was shot and rushed to the hospital, where he was declared brain dead. His family described his condition as irreversible.

A Sao Paulo court has ordered the suspect to be detained for 30 days pending further investigation, the Folha de São Paulo newspaper reported.

Lo was one of the most successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes of all time, having won eight World Championships as a black belt since 2012.

In addition to his long list of achievements, he added several International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation trophies, with eight Pan-American titles, two European Opens, seven Copa Podio Grand Prix, and four Brazilian Nationals to his cabinet.

The Jiu-Jitsu champion's death sent shockwaves through the mixed martial arts world, with his fellow stars and organizations paying tribute to him on social media.

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation shared its condolences and wrote: "The IBJJF and Jiu-Jitsu community are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Leandro Lo."

"Lo was one of the greatest athletes our sport has ever produced. An example of a true black belt, martial artist, and champion on and off the mats. Rest in peace legend," they added.

Former UFC fighter Kenny Florian wrote on his social media: "A very sad day for the BJJ community. Leandro was a legend," while Brazilian former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Dantos tweeted: "Rest In Peace champ."

Our thoughts go out to Lo's family, friends, and fans at this time.

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