In an incredibly sad day for the martial arts community, legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Leandro Lo was murdered in his home country of Brazil in the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 7.
According to Brazilian news outlet G1, Lo was shot in the head by a man with whom he had an argument with at a nightclub in the city of Sao Paulo. The shooter was identified as military police officer Henrique Otávio Oliveira Velozo, who has not yet been located.
Lo’s lawyer, Ivan Siqueira Junior, explained to G1 that Otavio had been provoking Leandro before the situation escalated, but the fighter immobilized Velozo in order to deescalate it. Unfortunately, once Lo let him go, Henrique took the chance to draw and fire his gun at Leandro.
According to Junior, Velozo then proceeded to kick Leandro twice once he was down from the gunshot before fleeing the scene.
Per the police report, one of Leandro’s friends described how the tragic incident developed.
“He came up to us and grabbed a bottle from our table. Leandro immobilized him just to calm him down. Then he (Velozo) took four or five steps and fired.”
Lo was taken to the hospital while still alive, but Junior confirmed that Lo was pronounced brain dead shortly after arrival.
During his decorated and extraordinary career, Leandro was an eight-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, with his most recent win taking place this year. Overall, Lo captured titles in the biggest competitions in the world, including the World Cup, the Pan-American Games, and the Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship, making him one of the most successful competitors in the sport’s history.
Leandro Lo was just 33 years old.