Brazil’s eight-time jiujitsu world champion Leandro Lo has been fatally shot in a Sao Paulo club, his family’s lawyer said.
Lo was out with friends on Sunday for a concert at the Clube Siria, a sport and social club in Brazil’s biggest city, when the attacker approached their table and began making threatening gestures with a bottle, said lawyer Iva Siqueira Junior.
Lo, who won International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) world titles in five different weight classes from 2012 to 2022 – an all-time record – pinned the man to the ground “to stop the situation and avoid a fight”, Siqueira added.
He said Lo’s friends then helped both men up and urged the attacker to calm down and leave.
“At that exact moment, the guy allegedly turned around, pulled out a gun and shot Leandro in the head,” Siqueira told the AFP news agency.
The IBJJF and Jiu Jitsu community are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Leandro Lo. Lo was one of the greatest athletes our sport has ever produced. An example of a true black belt, martial artist and champion on and off the mats. Rest in peace legend. 🙏🏼🕊 pic.twitter.com/lHK3n8pF4K
— IBJJF (@ibjjf) August 7, 2022
The jiujitsu champion was rushed to hospital, but was pronounced brain dead, he said.
An off-duty police officer has been arrested for allegedly shooting the 33-year-old, after turning himself in to the authorities, local media reported.
A Sao Paulo court ordered the 30-year-old suspect detained for 30 days pending further investigation, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.
Speciality site BJJ Heroes called Lo “one of the best pound-for-pound grapplers to have ever graced a mat”.
With roots in Japanese judo, Brazilian jiujitsu developed in the South American country in the early 20th century, and is one of the most popular full-contact sports, featuring prominently in mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions.
World Champion, mentor, legend 🕊🙏
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, teammates and fans of Leandro Lo. The jiu-jitsu world will never forget. pic.twitter.com/ps0hOxhdv3
— FloGrappling (@FloGrappling) August 7, 2022