The Brazilian Army has arrested two soldiers suspected of shooting a gay teenager on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, following the city's gay pride parade.
The army initially denied involvement, reports the Washington Post.
Douglas Igor Marques Luiz told police he was hanging out with friends at the Arpoador, a rocky outcrop between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches Sunday when three men in military uniforms approached. The 19-year-old said they told everyone to leave, but held him back and started verbally abusing him. The aggression escalated, and eventually he was shot. Luiz has been released from the hospital, and is cooperating with the investigation.
A spokesman with the military command of the nearby historical Copacabana Fort released a statement saying that no guns were fired by troops Sunday and that there were no patrols in the area. Investigators with the civil police summoned all military personnel who were on duty at the fort to be questioned Tuesday.
The military police now have two suspects, reports the AP. "An army statement says one of the suspects acknowledged shooting Luiz. The two sergeants were arrested Thursday and will be questioned by police."
LGBT tourists are estimated to be about a quarter of Rio de Janeiro's approximately 3 million annual international visitors. Sunday's gay pride march drew nearly a million participants, organizers estimated. Despite Rio's reputation as a gay-friendly destination, there were 600 complaints of anti-gay violence in Rio de Janeiro state in 2009, reports WaPo. LGBT activists are calling on Brazil's Senate to pass legislation banning discrimination based on sexual identity or orientation.