Update: The police officer suspected in the shooting has been identified as Luis Paulo Mota Brentano. According to CNN, Brentano was arrested but says he shot the surfer in self-defense. He has not been officially charged.
WSL CEO Paul Speaker: The events of the past 48 hours have been tragic and heartbreaking. Ricardo dos Santos, one of Brazil's favorite sons and one of the hardest charging surfers on Earth, was senselessly taken from us at only 24 years young. Our thoughts and prayers are with the dos Santos family and the Brazilian surfing community at this time. We will cherish his memory and he will remain in our hearts forever.
Speaker and Tour General Manager Graham Stapelberg on Wednesday traveled to Brazil to offer their condolences to the Dos Santos family.
Due to a late landing, Speaker and Stapelberg were unable to arrive in time for the burial on Wednesday afternoon at the Paulo Lopes cemetery. However, they participated in the tribute organized by the Santa Catarina Surf Federation (FECASURF) and the Guarda do Embau Surf Association. The ceremony was at the iconic river-mouth beachbreak at Guarda do Embau, where dos Santos lived and learned how to surf.
WSL South America Regional Director, Roberto Perdigao, was in attendance at Dos Santos' funeral, as well as the mass and burial ceremony held at the Paulo Lopes cemetery.
The WSL officials visited the Dos Santos family, who were riddled with grief at the loss of such a great talent in the sport of surfing, and who was proud to defend the Brazilian flag at two of the most dangerous waves on the Men's Championship Tour: Pipeline in Hawaii and Teahupo'o in Tahiti.
Update: According to a Surfline investigation, police have apprehended two suspects in connection with the shooting: a 25-year-old off-duty police (possibly military) and his 17-year-old brother. Apparently, the older brother was the one who fired at and ultimately killed dos Santos.
The WSL will continue to monitor updates on the situation.
Dos Santos was reportedly shot three times Monday morning around 8:40 a.m. local time in his hometown Guarda do Embau in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. The facts remain unclear but Championship Tour (CT) surfer Filipe Toledo (BRA) wrote on Instagram that dos Santos was shot after an argument.
According to local news outlets dos Santos, a QS surfer, was transferred to the regional hospital St. Joseph, where he underwent surgery.
Several Brazilian surfers, including CT competitors Adriano De Souza and Miguel Pupo, posted comments about the incident on social channels, asking the surfing community for prayers and support for dos Santos.