Innocent woman killed after political feud

A STRAY bullet killed a young mother when two men fired shots at each other following a longstanding political disagreement. The two duelists were also seriously injured during the course of the gun battle.

The incident began when António Afonso, a 70-year-old resident of the village of Uva in Vimioso (Bragança), entered a bar and fired three shots at 50-year-old Armando Sousa, injuring him in the shoulder and arm. Both men went out onto the street, where around 300 people were celebrating a festival, and exchanged up to 20 shots. It was unclear which of the men fired the shot that killed the young mother in question, 25-year-old Graça Lopes Martins, whose two-year-old daughter was sitting on her lap at the time. Her daughter sustained only minor injuries to the hand.

Afonso, a criminal who had once fled to Brazil, was shot three times in the chest, but managed to drive 15 kilometres to a health centre to seek medical help. He is now in a serious condition at Porto’s Santo António Hospital where surgeons removed a bullet from his lung. Sousa was treated at Vimioso health centre and then taken to Bragança, where he was detained by the GNR.

The shooting stemmed from a disagreement some weeks earlier relating to the presidential candidature of Mário Soares. On that occasion, Afonso had apparently made derogatory remarks about Soares, resulting in Sousa punching him. Police believe that Afonso had been planning his revenge ever since and had been undertaking target practice.