Brazilian President Carlos da Silva narrowly escaped an assassination attempt today when a gunman opened fire on his motorcade as it made its way through the streets of Sao Paulo.
The attack, which took place in the early hours of the morning, left several members of the president’s security detail injured, but da Silva himself emerged unscathed.
According to eyewitnesses, the gunman, identified as Pedro Santos, approached the president’s car and fired several shots before being subdued by security forces.
Santos, who was reportedly acting alone, has been taken into custody and is currently being questioned by authorities.
In a statement, President da Silva thanked his security detail for their quick action and expressed his condolences to the injured guards.
“I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence,” da Silva said. “My thoughts and prayers are with my injured colleagues, and I am grateful for the bravery and quick thinking of my security detail.”
The attack has sent shockwaves throughout Brazil, with citizens taking to social media to express their outrage and concern for the safety of their president.
Da Silva, who was elected in 2018 on a platform of economic and social reform, has faced criticism from some quarters for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and for his efforts to roll back environmental protections in the Amazon rainforest.
The motive for the attack is still under investigation, but authorities have said that they do not believe it was politically motivated.