TVI reporting from the scene last night

Three dead in afternoon of horror in Pedralva (Braga district)

Three people died following an afternoon of horror in the parish of Pedralva, Braga district, yesterday.

The tragedy seems to have been precipitated by a woman walking out on her husband – a man who had only just been released from a psychiatric facility.

The husband, known locally as ‘Guerras’, appears to have believed that his wife’s brother and wife might have known her whereabouts. Maybe he thought they were shielding her from him. No-one is alive to explain.

Whatever the case, he confronted the couple, both aged 58, at their house in Pedralva – and ended up shooting them both dead.

He then ‘made off’, ending up in his own home nearby, where he killed himself.

Police called to the scene by terrified locals had no idea at first whether Guerras would be waiting for them. His house was therefore carefully surrounded, police snipers were located in two nearby properties – and slowly the operation made its approach.

By 10pm – in other words, at least six hours since the shootings – police entered Guerras’ home to find him dead inside it.

Interviewing locals at the scene, TVI24 heard how Guerras’ wife and son had left home about a month ago, after the wife woke up to find her husband pointing a knife at her neck. 

She and her son are understood to be living currently in a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

One woman told TVI that she had never heard accounts of Guerras being violent, but that she did know his own brother had killed his wife “two or three years” previously.  (According to Correio da Manhã, the shooting took place in the same parish).

Other reports claim Guerras had suffered a psychotic episode a few hours before shooting his brother- and sister-in-law, and been treated and released from Braga Hospital.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com