He was one of the legends of this combat sport, a star in his country.
Eight-time world ju-jitsu champion Leandro Lo was shot in the head during a concert and will be buried in Sao Paulo on Monday, authorities said.
The suspected killer, a police officer who attended the concert in civilian clothes on a day off, was taken into custody after voluntarily reporting to a police station on Sunday evening.
The murder took place on the night of Saturday to Sunday, at Clube Sirio, a sports club in Sao Paulo.
“Segundo o advogado da família, Ivã Siqueira Junior, a [Leandro Lo] teve uma discussão com o rapaz e, para acalmar a situação, immobilizou o homem.
Após se afastar, o aggressor sacou uma arma e atirou uma vez na cabeça do lutador.”
— Jeff Nascimento (@jnascim) August 7, 2022
According to Leandro Lo's family lawyer, an individual approached the table where he was with friends, grabbed a bottle and began to provoke them.
The ju-jitsu champion then tackled him to the ground and immobilized him to "avoid a fight".
A point-blank shot to the head
The two men were then separated, but the assailant, after moving a few steps away, "suddenly turned around, took a gun and shot Leandro", said Me Ivã Siqueira Junior.
One of the victim's friends, who was present at the scene, confirmed to the G1 news site that the champion had been shot "point-blank in the head".
Leandro Lo, 33, was the holder of eight International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) world titles, won between 2012 and 2022, in five different weight categories, an absolute record in this discipline.
According to the local press, the alleged killer, a 30-year-old policeman, is himself a ju-jitsu practitioner.
"Leandro was one of the greatest in our sport, exemplary on and off the mats," the IBJJF said in a statement.
Inspired by judo, Brazilian ju-jitsu, which developed at the turn of the last century in the South American country, is renowned for its ground fighting techniques often used in mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions.