Ricardo dos Santos Dead at 24 From Gunshot Injury

Surfer Ricardo dos Santos dies after being shot during an altercation Monday.

Brazilian surfer Ricardo dos Santos is dead after being fatally shot Monday during an altercation that took place near his home in Guarda do Embau.

Ricardo took the surfing world by storm in 2012 when he knocked out 11-time world champion Kelly Slater at the Billabong Pro Tahiti event; though he was knocked out himself by Mick Fanning in the quarter finals.

How Did Dos Santos Die?

According to Ricardo’s uncle, the surfer was struck in the back by a bullet before turning and facing his assailant whereupon he was shot two more times. Ricardo sustained a punctured lung and kidney and though he underwent emergency surgery on Tuesday at St. Joseph regional hospital, he died as a result of his injuries.

“[He] suffered hemorrhage in the liver, spleen, intestine, and in the vein that takes blood back to [the] heart,” according to Ricardo’s manager Andrei Malhado. “A second surgery stopped the bleeding in the vein and took 45 blood bags.”

Doctors put Ricardo in a medically induced coma to no avail.

Ricardo Dos Santos’ Surfing Achievements

Ricardo received the Andy Irons Forever Inspiration Award after qualifying at the World Surf League’s Billabong Rio Pro event in 2013 and also in 2012 when competing at the WSL’s Billabong Pro Teahupoo event. The 2012 Billabong Pro Tahiti Trails event was Ricardo’s for the taking – he won.

Dos Santos’ Press Coverage

In November 2014, Ricardo appeared on the cover of Surfer Magazine.

Who Shot Ricardo Dos Santos?

Brazilian police have two suspects in custody – Luis Paulo Mota Brentano, 25, and his 17-year-old brother. The two reportedly turned themselves in to police. Luis is the suspected shooter. He is a military policeman, off duty during the time of the shooting, who may face both civil and military charges. Luis claims that he shot Ricardo in self defense; however, witnesses are not corroborating this account.

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