A man claiming to be an off-duty police officer fired multiple shots into the air during a World Cup protest in Rio de Janeiro Sunday night after accosting journalists covering the demonstration.
VICE News was on the scene when an un-uniformed man emerged from a car with a pistol, fired a shot into the air, and began yelling at people on the street around him — many of whom were members of the press. The man then told the crowd he was a police officer, declined to show his badge, and pointed his gun at a nearby journalist.
"To hell with the badge. Who the fuck are you to ask me for a badge? Go away. Piss off. Get away or else someone will get hurt," he says, when asked to produce a badge.
After a few minutes, the man got back into the car, firing three more shots in the air as it drove away. Afterwards, protesters alleged that shell casings from the scene were issued by the local fire department. The incident occurred at about 7PM a few blocks away from the stadium, where Argentina was playing Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Anonymous Rio has found an alleged picture of the man who fired the shots, which may indicate that he is a police officer.
The protest began when police tried to block "about 150 bandanna-clad protesters carrying banners that said 'FIFA Go Home' [who] marched towards the stadium, causing some stores to shut their doors temporarily and one metro station to close briefly," according to Reuters.
The large crown of protesters, only a few blocks away from Maracanã stadium, had just been dispersed by police officers using tear gas and flash grenades when the incident occurred. The atmosphere was chaotic, according to a VICE News reporter Tim Pool, who was at the scene.
During Sunday night's demonstrations, local news outlet A Nova Democracia captured footage of a separate incident of a police officer firing what appears to be live ammunition at protesters.
At least six injuries were reported Sunday night, including some foreign journalists, according to Reuters.
Follow Jordan Larson on Twitter: @jalarsonist