A bullet was found near the Rio Olympics stables at the Deodoro Equestrian Centre this morning, it has been confirmed.
In a security briefing this evening, Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada and General Luiz Eduardo Ramos, commander of the First Division of the Brazilian Army, said that the bullet was found close to the fence by a soldier working on the site.
“This morning the military police arrested one guy with a rifle and at exactly more or less the time that operation was going on the bullet was found here,” said General Ramos, adding the arrest happened about 2km from the venue. “We cannot say for certain he was shooting the same weapon.”
This is the second bullet to land at the venue after one came through the roof of the press office at lunchtime on the first day of eventing dressage last Saturday. General Ramos said investigations are ongoing: “So far it’s very difficult to say where the bullet came from.”
When asked by British journalist Jonathan Agnew whether it is dangerous to be here, General Ramos initially said there was no danger.
He said: “There is no risk you receive some direct shooting. It’s out of the question. It’s not possible. You ask me is there some danger for the people working here? The answer is very clear — no. It was not a direct shooting. The bullet came without speed — no one here was the target.”
However, later he said that security could not be guaranteed in a “very difficult” world.
“I will do my best to provide security for you. Nobody can say 100%, I will do my best but who can guarantee it?” he said.
General Ramos, who has 5,500 troops under his command, had come from a military meeting about reviewing and strengthening security procedures, but the details are confidential.
‘No more training’
Many people have been worried by the sounds of gunfire around the Deodoro venue and the General confirmed today that all military training has now been halted in the area.
“We are in a military village and this morning we have our troops training and shooting not far away from here. I have 51 battalions here. You have to prepare,” said General Ramos, adding that special forces were training last night, when journalists heard machine gun fire from the Deodoro Accommodation Vilage, which houses media and officials for the Olympic venues in the area. “If you hear [gunfire] from tomorrow something is wrong, but not until now.
“That was a decision we maybe should have taken before [to stop training], but we’ve taken it right now. We didn’t expect this sad event to happen. So no more training.”
General Ramos and Mr Andrada also confirmed that a media bus which was attacked yesterday in Rio, resulting in a shattered window, was hit by a stone, not a bullet.
“It’s not good someone throwing stones against a bus,” said General Ramos. “We are looking to reinforce our system. We are doing our best to mitigate our threat against the bullets. The first person who feels sad when something happens is myself, I have been preparing for this one or two years.”
Mr Andrada confirmed that forensic examinations are ongoing into both the bullet found near the stables and the bus incident.