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Brazilian lawmaker's sons detained in dad's killing

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP)

Police in Brazil suspect an evangelical pastor, the husband of a prominent federal lawmaker, was shot dead this week by two of their 55 children following an extramarital "betrayal," according to news reports Friday.

Anderson do Carmo, 42, was shot 30 times, many of the bullets hitting him in his pelvic region, around dawn on Sunday in the garage of his house in Niteroi, in the greater Rio de Janeiro area.

Two days later, one of the 51 children he had adopted with Flordelis dos Santos Souza, a lawmaker from Rio state, confessed to carrying out the hit.

The adopted son said he had acted on the orders of one of dos Santos Souza's four biological children.

Both men have been detained.

Lurid media reports have been circulating about a family drama which could include three sisters and even the 58-year-old deputy herself, allegedly motivated by an extramarital "betrayal" by the pastor.

News sites quoted an unnamed son of the couple as saying that police suspected three of the sisters and the lawmaker of involvement in the killing.

Prosecutor Barbara Lomba, who is leading the investigation, declined to comment on the reports on Friday, but did not dismiss them.

"It is not clear if it was carried out in the manner described or if they (the two brothers) were the only people involved, so there is still much to be discovered. There are many possible motivations, and it could be more than one of them," she told reporters.

There was no evidence of an extramarital affair, Lomba added.

Dos Santos Souza is a member of the conservative Social Democrat Party (PSD) and garnered 197,000 votes in the 2018 election, the most votes won by a woman in the state of Rio.

Born in the favela, or shanty town, of Jacarezinho in the north of the city, she is described in the state assembly registry as a "pastor and musician" who was educated in media studies.

She met her husband in 1994 and together they founded what they called the Community of the Evangelical Ministry Flordelis.

In 2015 she said that "one morning I woke up to a great uproar in my house in Jacarezinho. When my husband and I opened the door, we were astounded: there were 37 kids and teenagers fleeing a killing at the Central de Brazil," one of Rio's main train stations.

"That is how my story of adoptions started," she said.

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