The Russian Embassy in Brazil has denied reports one of its diplomats shot and killed a mugger in Rio de Janeiro the day before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
On Aug. 4, Marcos Cesar Feres Braga, a Brazilian lawyer who is a vice consul at the Russian consulate, reportedly grabbed mugger Leonardo Lopes Batista and pulled him into his BMW X6 after the man had smashed his car window and pointed a gun at him to try to steal his watch, according to the Daily Mail.
A witness said Batista shouted, “you’ve lost, hand over your watch,” before breaking the car window with his gun.
Police said a fight took place in the vehicle before Braga grabbed the attacker’s gun and shot him dead at point blank range.
“[Braga] acted quickly pulling the criminal inside the car, took his revolver and fired it towards him,” Rio’s 31st Military Police Battalion said in a statement.
Braga, who is reportedly trained in Brazilian jiujitsu, was reportedly in the car with his wife and daughter.
Batista was allegedly laid out on the road for several hours while police investigated the incident.
The attack took place after the Olympic torch passed by Avenida das Americas in the Barra de Tijuca district of Rio de Janeiro, near the Olympic Village.
Vladimir Tokmakov, the Russian General Consul in Rio de Janeiro, denies Braga was involved in the death of Batista.
"Brazilian media reports that a Russian diplomat was allegedly involved in an incident that led to the death of a Brazilian national during an armed attack is not true,” he told Russian news agency Tass. “All Russian diplomats and personnel of Russian foreign institutions located in Rio de Janeiro are safe and sound and are of no relation to the aforesaid incident. The man who was involved in the incident could have presented himself as a general consulate employee.”
The Russian Embassy collaborated Tokmakov's statement.
”At the time of the incident all Consulate officials in Rio de Janeiro were inside the building itself or in rented space for Russian fans of the Olympics in Copacabana called 'House of the Fans,’” the mission said in a statement obtained by CNN.