Ricardo dos Santos: Surfing world mourns death of Brazilian star 'shot outside his home by off-duty policeman'

Rising star underwent four operations to try and save his life

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The Independent US

The world of surfing is in shock after the renowned Brazilian professional Ricardo dos Santos was shot and killed outside his home - allegedly by an off duty policeman.

Reports said the 24-year-old was fatally injured outside his home in the city of Florianopolis after he got into an argument with the officer and his brother. The officer, named locally as Luis Brentano, has been detained arrested on suspicion of murder but at this point has not been charged.

Mr Brentano has apparently said he acted in self-defence after being threatened with a knife by Mr dos Santos. However, a report by the Brazilian news site GL Globo has quoted a police investigator, Marcelo Arruda, as saying that no weapon had been found at the scene.

The surfer underwent four operations after he was shot on Monday and flown to hospital by helicopter, but he died on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the surfer was buried after more than 1,000 people attended his wake. His mother hugged his coffin, strewn with flowers. 

“Dos Santos was a fearless, world-class tube-rider, who captured the surf world’s attention with an incredible performance at the 2012 Billabong Pro, Tahiti, for which he took home the Andy Irons Forever Inspiration Award,” wrote Surfer magazine. “He was recently featured in a gorgeous, pristine barrel on the cover of our November 2014 issue.”

Mr dos Santos gained prominence after knocking 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater out of an event in 2012. He was known as a daring tube rider who had won international surfing awards. In addition to that in 2012 he also won the Surfline Wave of the Winter award for riding an “incredibly deep, blue, massive pipeline tube”.

Slater, 42 was among those in the surfing world who mourned the death of the 24-year-old and said on social media that he had joined other surfers in Hawaii who paddled out to form a circle in tribute to Mr dos Santos

"Lack of education, poverty, and drugs don't make for a good mix and make life challenging in [Brazil], one of the most beautiful and scariest places I've been,“ he wrote on his Instagram page. ”Condolences to Ricardo's friends and family around the world. Our small community has lost another way too soon."

There are conflicting reports on why Mr dos Santos was allegedly shot by the police officer.

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One witness reportedly said that Mr dos Santos had asked the men to leave after spotting them using drugs and playing loud music on the beach outside his home. Other reports say he was shot while discussing a car they had parked at his property.

World champion surfer Gabriel Medina Pinto from Brazil also posted his condolences on Instagram. "Ricardinho, you didn't deserve this!," he wrote. "Why does this kind of thing happen to good people?"

US champion surfer Brett Simpson wrote: "RIP Ricardo. Way too young, but you sure made an impact on so so many lives!"

South African surfer Travis Logie, who won the ISA World Surfing Games in 2002, tweeted: "Gonna miss watching you charge brother! Rest in Peace Ricardo."

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