Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil man 'confesses to 39 murders'

Media captionThe security guard is said to have confessed to the killings but had no particular motive and knew none of his victims, as Wyre Davies reports

Brazilian police have arrested a man who they say has confessed to at least 39 murders over a three-year period.

Police said the 26-year-old security guard targeted homeless people, women and homosexuals.

They said Thiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha - who approached his alleged victims on a motorbike with his face hidden - was cold but driven by rage.

He was arrested in the central Brazilian city of Goiania by a special police team investigating the murders.

Police said he often demanded valuables from his victims before shooting them and leaving without their possessions.

A police official who had been present at the interrogations told a Brazilian TV channel the killer called his victims by the numbers 1 to 39.

"We have been shocked by his coldness," the official said.

He never knew those he targeted, police said, and acted out of an inner "fury" that he felt "against everything", which only subsided when he committed murder.

He would feel remorse after killings, police said, which only fuelled his anger more.

Image caption Objects found at Gomes da Rocha's house after his arrest

The alleged suspect had also described accurately the locations of each murder and the emotions he had felt at the time, and police said he fired on his victims while cruising the streets.

Investigators said they were sifting through evidence, including closed-circuit TV footage, and had seized weapons and stolen license plates from his grandmother's home.

He is also being investigated over 90 robberies of shops, pharmacies and lottery outlets.

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