British man shot dead in Brazil during armed robbery

Jason Richard Stevens reportedly tried to negotiate with a gunman

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The Independent US

A British man has been shot dead during an armed robbery in Sao Paulo after reportedly attempting to negotiate with a gunman.

Jason Richard Stevens, 39, was playing sinuca, a type of Brazilian snooker, with friends when two armed men burst into the bar on Wednesday.

One stood by the door to watch for police while his accomplice went round the bar taking wallets, bank cards and money from customers, local media reported.

The lookout became agitated when Mr Stevens tried to persuade him to lower his gun, witnesses said, and shot him several times in the stomach, legs and arms.

Fumihiro Yoshima, who owns the bar in the upmarket Interlagos area, believed the gunman may have been intimidated by the expat’s size.

“I think the robber felt scared at how tall and strong he was,” he said.

The two assailants fled the scene in a getaway car driven by a third man at around 11pm.

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Mr Stevens lived in Sao Paulo with his family

Mr Stevens was taken to hospital but died of his injuries. Police have not arrested any suspects and the investigation continues.

He is understood to have lived in the city of Sao Paulo for several years with his family and daughter, working as a translator in Brazilian Portuguese, French and English.

A friend, Monica Costa Almeida, told the Telegraph: “He was a fine guy, literally adored by everyone.”

Mr Stevens was originally from Scotland and an “Old Paulean”, having attended St Paul’s School, the city's British school.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: “We can confirm the death of a British national on October 22 in Brazil. We have offered consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”

In its safety report on Sao Paulo, the US Overseas Security Advisory Council warns of armed “restaurant invasions” in the city.

Groups groups of three or four gunmen from street gangs storm bars and restaurants lacking security to rob patrons, the department said.

Crime rates have been steadily falling in Sao Paulo in recent decades but visitors are still warned of the possibility of kidnappings, carjackings, burglary and robbery.

Additional reporting by PA

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