Russian officials deny diplomat was man who fought off attacker as local media backtrack on reports and say man was using fake Russian papers.
A man reported to be a diplomat has shot and killed a Brazilian who attempted to rob him in Rio de Janeiro, according to local police and media.
The incident occurred on the Avenida das Americas, the main thoroughfare between the Olympic Park and the city centre, at around midday on Thursday just after the torch relay had passed by the street on its way to the Olympic stadium.
There were conflicting reports about the identity of the man, with the Associated Press quoting Rio police as saying that he was a vice-consul at the Russian consulate.
However, officials also told AP and the Guardian that no staff from the consulate had been involved in any incident.
In a statement to the Guardian the consulate said: “The embassy of Russia in Brazil informs that no representative of the Russian Consul General in Rio de Janeiro was involved in the attempted assault that ended with the death of the suspect in Barra da Tijuca this Thursday.
“The officials of the diplomatic mission are Russian citizens with Russian names, which was not the case (in Thursday’s incident).”
The Russian Tass news agency meanwhile quoted Vladimir Tokmakov, Russian consul general in Rio, saying no member of staff had “anything to do with the incident.”
But Tokmakov said that he could not “rule out” that whoever was involved in the reported incident could have introduced himself as a member of diplomatic staff.
A later report by the Brazilian Folha.uol.com website said that the reported diplomat was a Brazilian with fake identity papers who was passing himself off as a Russian diplomat.
According to the Globo newspaper, the man was waiting in traffic in his car with his wife and daughter when he was approached by two men, each on a motorcycle.
One suspect broke the driver’s window on the car – believed to be a BMW X6 – with the gun and demanded the the man’s watch. But the man grabbed the attacker, hauled him into the car and the suspect was killed with his own gun. The other motorcyclist fled.
The body of assailant lay in the street for five hours, according to Sky News, as police began their investigation.
Crime is a major concern for locals Olympic visitors. Several athletes have been mugged during test events. Expensive cars are a common target. The archbishop of Rio has twice been carjacked since 2014.