Stray bullet possibly aimed at police blimp: minister

Sun Aug 7, 2016 5:55pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ossian Shine and Caroline Stauffer

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's government is investigating whether a bullet that tore through the roof of the press center in the Olympic equestrian center was fired by a gang member trying to shoot down a police blimp or drone, the defense minister said on Sunday.

The bullet ripped through the plastic roof of the venue's media center on Saturday, missing journalists by just a few feet. It prompted the sport's governing body to demand an explanation and a security guarantee.

"One hypothesis is that someone who felt they were being filmed and observed made the shot," Defence Minister Raul Jungmann told reporters on Sunday.

Despite the unusual incident the venue was not evacuated and a second day of dressage tests in the three-day eventing competition wrapped up calmly.

"Obviously this is a worrying situation and is not an incident we can take lightly as the safety of everyone at our venue – athletes, horses, media and spectators – is of prime importance," Ingmar De Vos, president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), said.

Security has been increased at the venue since the incident, with a dozen soldiers seen guarding the entrance and more patrolling nearby streets.

"The FEI is actively monitoring the situation and we have asked for confirmation about the measures that have been put in place to ensure there will not be a recurrence," Vos said.

Security has become a major concern for organizers of South America's first Olympics. Brazil has deployed 85,000 police, military, and private security personnel for the Games, more than double that of London in 2012.   Continued...

A television cameraman films two holes in the tent that serves as a media center for the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center during the first day of competition of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 6, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile