Brazilian Gunmen Kill Samba School Boss and Wife with 20 Shots

Guaracy Falcão and wife Simone from Brazilian escola de samba Salgueiro Just one day after a clash between the Rio de Janeiro police and drug gangs, which left six dead in a city's shantytown and on the eve of Carnaval, which  starts this Friday night, February 16, the vice president of one of Rio's most famous Escolas de Samba (Samba Clubs) was executed.

Guaracy Paes Falcão, 42, vice president of Acadêmicos do Salgueiro and his wife, Simone Moujarkian, 35, one of the stars of samba school, were shot 20 times in front of the Guanabara supermarket, in the north side neighborhood of Andaraí­, just half a mile from the Salgueiro club, soon after leaving an event there, today before dawn.

A rehearsal for the Carnaval parade scheduled for tomorrow night at Salgueiro has been cancelled

According to the police report, Falcão and his wife were going to their home in Jacarepaguá, in the west side of Rio, when gunmen driving a dark blue Volkswagen Polo started to shoot at the black Peugeot the couple was in. They fired at least 20 shots against the Salgueiro boss's car. 

Witnesses accounts indicate that Falcão, who was driving the car, threw his vehicle against the attackers, but it didn't prevent them from keeping on shooting. After having been hit three times by bullets the Salgueiro leader lost control of the car and went up the sidewalk. The gunmen continued shooting and then fled at high speed.

Some policemen who had earlier received a call from a nearby hotel were the first to arrive at the crime scene. They heard the shots and rushed to the car, but the couple were already dead when they arrived. The gunmen used a Russian made AK-47 assault rife.

Falcão's daughter, Tayssa, who also was at the Salgueiro event, arrived at the scene of the murder just a few minutes after the incident. She started screaming that she knew who was responsible for her father's death: "It was him, it was him, I'm sure it was him and I'm going to kill that guy."

She wouldn't tell the name of the person she thinks killed her father though. The police say they still have no idea who committed the crime. But they suspect that the death may have been caused by a dispute over slot machine locations.

Falcão is sometimes called the card game king in Rio. He used to live in São Paulo and only moved to Rio de Janeiro about two years ago, after his cousin, Waldemir Paes Garcia, was also executed.

He was in charge of some illegal businesses operated by his family and according to reports in the Rio press he was getting rid of some aides and this upset senior members of the family. People close to the family doubt however that this would have led to Falcão's execution.

Just last week there was another attempt against the Salgueiro's boss life. At that time he was driving his Audi in company of his son Tiago. Gunmen shot several times but they were not able to hit him or his son and he escaped by fleeing at high speed. The car suffered several bullet perforations and had to be taken to a body shop.

Falcão had held several post at Salgueiro since 1986. He had also worked as composer and was the co-author of "Peguei um Ita no Norte," a samba that in 1993 helped to bring the title of champion to his Escola de Samba. He had been elected vice president in June 2005.

Falcão had three children: Tayssa and Tiago, from a first marriage and Yane, 5, his daughter with Simone. 

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