On May 25, 2019 unknown individuals knocked on the door of Giorno’s home in Maricá, a coastal town in Rio de Janeiro state, and lured him to the street, where individuals in a car shot him six times, according to news reports. He died at the scene, according to those reports.
Giorno founded Jornal O Maricá, a website covering local news and politics in Maricá, and was also the principal reporter for the website, according to Paulo de Almeida Celestino, president of the Maricá Press Association, a local trade organization, who spoke with CPJ on the phone on May 28, 2019.
Rio de Janeiro state police told CPJ in a written statement sent on May 29, that they have opened an investigation into the killing.
Bárbara Lomba, the homicide detective in charge of the investigation, described the killing as "an execution" and "an ambush," according to local news website Maricá Info. The news site reported that Giorno had said he was interested in running for office in Maricá.
Lomba told reporters that she believed Giorno was killed because of his journalism or his political activity, according to the report.
In his writing on Jornal O Maricá, Giorno frequently criticized local politicians for alleged corruption or absenteeism.
One of the journalist’s friends, who asked not to be identified by name, told CPJ that Giorno had received threats, although the friend did not know the content of the threats or who made them. Giorno had bought a bullet-proof car days before he was killed, the friend said.
When asked who might threaten him, the friend responded, "It could be from anybody, there are so many people … He fought with everyone." The friend did not know if Giorno had reported the threats to authorities.