On June 18, 2019, at about 7 p.m., a masked man shot Romário Barros, owner and reporter at local news website Lei Seca Maricá, at least three times before getting into a car and driving away, according to Brazilian daily O Globo. Barros died at the scene, according to O Globo.
None of Barros’ belongings were taken, and a report by local news outlet O Dia said that police believe the killing was ordered.
On June 19, the Rio de Janeiro state police issued a statement, reviewed by CPJ, saying they had opened an investigation into the killing. The police did not reply to additional phone calls and questions emailed by CPJ.
The 31-year-old reporter founded Lei Seca Maricá in 2010, said Paulo de Almeida Celestino, president of the Maricá Press Association, of which Barros was a founding member. The site covers local crime, transportation, culture, and political news.