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World Brazilian mourn star surfer killed by off-duty policeman

Brazil's Ricardo Dos Santos competes during his round one heat at the Billabong Pro Tahiti in French Polynesia on Aug. 26, 2012.

GREGORY BOISSY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Brazilian surfer who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer was buried Wednesday after more than 1,000 people attended his wake.

Ricardo dos Santos, who won international surfing awards, was shot three times in the abdomen Monday in front of his home on the Guarda do Embau beach, near Florianopolis. He died a day later at the hospital.

Investigator Marcelo Arruda said the officer who shot the unarmed surfer claimed he did so in self-defence. Other witnesses have said that Officer Luis Brentano shot dos Santos after they got into an argument.

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The suspect is in jail, but has not been charged. Under Brazilian law, prosecutors only file charges once a police investigation is complete.

Fellow surfers paid tribute to dos Santos on social media.

"This was truly a senseless loss of life. It unfortunately brings to light the number of murders yearly in Brazil, officially documented at over 50,000 with many thousands more going unreported," American surfer Kelly Slater, an 11-time world champion, wrote on his Instagram page.

"Condolences to Ricardo's friends and family around the world. Our small community has lost another way too soon," Slater added.

Dos Santos countryman, world champion surfer Gabriel Medina Pinto, also posted his condolences on Instagram.

"You didn't deserve this. Why does this kind of thing happen to good people?" Medina wrote.

Two-time U.S. Open of Surfing champion Brett Simpson, of the United States, wrote: "Wish everyone close to this great Man my condolences and may you get some more HUGE barrels in Heaven."

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