SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Three gunmen invaded the headquarters of a fan club for Brazilian soccer team Corinthians on Saturday night in Sao Paulo and shot dead eight people in what police believed was a drug gang-related killing, according to local media reports.
Witness accounts collected by the police said the gunmen entered the site of Pavilhao 9 fan club while some people were preparing banners for a game this Sunday and asked them to lie down facing the floor.
The gunmen then started to shoot the supporters in the head. Seven people died on the spot. One person was shot while running away, and died at a hospital.
Corinthians face arch rivals Palmeiras in the semifinal of Sao Paulo state championship later on Sunday. The game is still scheduled to go on.
Although there have been several recent cases of violence involving supporters of the two clubs, police said the killing did not appear to be related to the game.
Police deputy Arlindo Jose Negrao Vaz, who is heading the investigation, told Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper there were no indications that other soccer teams’ supporters were involved.
Police believed the shooting was linked to a turf dispute among drug dealers, said the news website G1.
Pavilhao 9 posted a mourning message on its Facebook page, but did not comment further on the shooting.
No arrests were made so far.
Corinthians tweeted its sorrow over the shooting, but otherwise had no comment.
Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Frances Kerry