At least 14 people were killed in a shootout at a nightclub in Fortaleza, in northeastern Brazil, officials said on Saturday. We can confirm 14 deaths, Andre Costa, security secretary for the state of Ceara - of which Fortaleza is the capital - told a press conference.
Costa said that other victims were hospitalized in serious condition, but did not give a number.
A spokesperson from the Institut Jose Frota hospital said that six people, including a 12-year-old boy, had been rushed in for emergency care.
The shooting broke out at 01:30 when a group of armed men arrived in three vehicles at the Forro do Gago nightclub in Fortaleza's Cajazeiras neighborhood.
It's a brutal scene, a massacre. Something you never see in Ceara, a police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told news website G1.
Local media reported that the shootout was a clash between members of two rival drug trafficking gangs.Officials however remained tight lipped. The investigation is still ongoing, Costa said.
On January 7, a war between drug gangs already claimed four lives in the suburbs of Fortaleza. Last year there was a record 5 114 murders in the state of Ceara, a 50% rise from 2016.