A supporter of Sao Paulo club Palmeiras died Sunday after being shot in the head by Corinthians fan during a fight initiated by a gang attack. Police reported that about 500 Palmeiras fans were being escorted to the municipal Pacaembu stadium where Corinthians plays when some home fans confronted them with firearms, iron bars and home-made grenades. Five people were injured including the 21-year-old fan, who was shot and died later in hospital.
“The military police were caught between the two gangs but for an hour people’s lives were in danger,” police corporal Adriano Lopomo told TV reporters. “The military police had no way out unless it was to retreat and practically help the conflict.
Film footage by amateur witnesses broadcast on television showed scenes of a street battle and a fan lying on the ground bleeding and waiting for assistance. Media reports said no one was arrested.
The scene of the battle is an area where there are often confrontations between rival fans of the big Sao Paulo clubs. Violence in big cities, including soccer hooliganism, is one of the major problems Brazil faces as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup..