The nation of Brazil is reeling following the death of renowned surfer Ricardo Dos Santos. The legendary tube rider was shot on January 18 and died less than 24 hours later at a hospital in the city of Florianopolis. It’s understood that Dos Santos, 24, had been wounded by an off-duty cop.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Underwent 4 Surgeries Before Dying
The BBC reports that Dos Santos was shot three times during an altercation with the off-duty cop and another man. He was rushed to a hospital where he underwent four surgeries before succumbing to his injuries on the afternoon of January 20. As he was dying, prominent surfers urged people to make blood donations for Dos Santos.
2. In 2012, Dos Santos Defeated Kelly Slater in a Competition
Dos Santos shot to international surfing fame in 2012 when he eliminated 11-time world champ Kelly Slater from a contest. The late surfing champ had won a litany of awards during his career. Kelly Slater called his former foe’s death a “truly a senseless loss of life.” Surfer magazine described Dos Santos as “a fearless, world-class tuberider” who “captured the surf world’s attention” during the 2012 Billabong Pro event. You can watch him in action above.
3. The Cop Who Shot Dos Santos Hasn’t Been Charged
Reports in Brazil are conflicting about the circumstances of the shooting. Some witnesses say that Dos Santos confronted the cop and another man because the two were playing loud music and using drugs close to the surfer’s home. Others say that the altercation was due to an illegally parked car on Dos Santos’ property. The cop has not been charged and is claiming self-defense in the case. CNN reports the officer’s name as Luis Paulo Mota Brentano.
4. Kelly Slater Called Dos Santos ‘One of the Greatest Barrel Riders of Our Time’
There has been an outpouring of emotion on social media following the news of Dos Santos’ shooting.
5. He Was a Proud Brazilian
Surfing bible, Broadsport, said in their tribute that Ricardo was “a Brazilian who supported his local community. His stoke for his homeland could be felt even as he traveled the globe, telling stories of his time at home with close friends.”