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Who was Leandro Lo? Brazilian Jiu-jitsu legend shot to death in Sao Paulo

The BJJ star was allegedly gunned down by an off-duty police officer (image via Michael Sears/Flo Grappling)
The BJJ star was allegedly gunned down by an off-duty police officer (image via Michael Sears/Flo Grappling)

On Sunday, 8-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion Leandro Lo was fatally shot at a concert in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Early that morning, the 33-year-old attended a performance of a popular Sao Paolo music group at club Sirio in Southern Sao Paolo. During the concert, Lo got into an argument with an off-duty police officer, Henrique OtΓ‘vio Oliveira Velozo, who was also attending the same concert.

An off duty police officer ended the short life of one of the greatest Jiu Jitsu champions in the world. All because his ego was so hurt after he lost a fight in a bar that he had to grab a gun to get his revenge. Fuck cops, cowards with guns. RIP Leandro Lo https://t.co/b3FPgBcarw

According to Sao Paolo authorities, after Leandro Lo and Velozo engaged in a brief struggle, the officer allegedly gunned down the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend. As of now, authorities have not yet confirmed the nature of the dispute, but witnesses at the scene reported that Lo was supposedly trying to pacify the cop.

In response to the incident, UFC analyst and former lightweight Kenny Florian lamented Lo's death on Twitter.

We lost a legend to senseless gun violence πŸ’”πŸ•Š RIP to Leandro Lo https://t.co/qcl59RZkfO

Henrique Velozo was detained soon after the incident. The case is currently still under investigation.


All there is to know about Leandro Lo

According to Flograppling, the Sao Paolo-born Leandro Lo was one of only 3 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competitors to have won 8 IBJJF world titles in the sport. He skyrocketed into the international BJJ scene in 2012, when he won his first world title in the lightweight division. Lo's last win was as a light heavyweight on May 22.

World Champion, mentor, legend πŸ•ŠπŸ™Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, teammates and fans of Leandro Lo. The jiu-jitsu world will never forget. https://t.co/ps0hOxhdv3

Lo was considered a dedicated practitioner, competing across multiple weight classes and gaining victories in the light, middle and heavyweight tournaments at the Copa Podio Grand Prix.

Alongside his reputation as a competitor, Leandro Lo was also considered a kind and forthcoming coach within the BJJ community. According to BJJ Heroes, he formed the New School Brotherhood team in 2015. Here, he taught fellow competitors various defensive techniques that allowed them to garner success in numerous grappling tournaments around the world.


The club Sirio shooting

As per Brazilian outlet Diario Momento, the argument between Leandro Lo and Henrique Velozo supposedly began at 2 am on Sunday.

The IBJJF and Jiu Jitsu community are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Leandro Lo. Lo was one of the greatest athletes our sport has ever produced. An example of a true black belt, martial artist and champion on and off the mats. Rest in peace legend. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ•Š https://t.co/lHK3n8pF4K

It was reported that after the confrontation escalated into violence, witnesses said that Velozo allegedly grabbed a bottle. This prompted Lo to put him in a BJJ armlock to restrain him.

At this point, the crowd in the nightclub reportedly intervened. However, once he was released from Lo's grip. Velozo allegedly drew out his gun and shot the BJJ competitor in the head.

Very sad day for the Jiu-Jitsu nation. Legend Leandro Lo, dead because of a bar fight. Unbelievable. He won the World Championship for the 8th time this year, 2022, at 33 years old. https://t.co/FpUQ2mI147

After the shooting, Lo was transported to a hospital, where he was declared dead. Velozo is said to have escaped the scene before being apprehended by Sao Paolo authorities. He is currently suspended from active duty amidst the investigation.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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