Brazilian cameraman caught in the crossfire while covering police operation outside Rio de Janeiro

Cameraman for TV Bandeirantes Gelson Domingos died in a firefight between police and drug traffickers on Nov. 6 in the Antares favela in Santa Cruz, west of Rio de Janeiro, reported G1. Domingos was covering the police operation in the community when he was shot with a rifle.

The cameraman was filming behind a police officer in the middle of the shootout when he was shot. See Domingos' footage from the operation below.

The journalist was taken to an emergency room but died at the hospital. Band lamented the loss of Domingos and released a statement saying the company "takes all precautions to guarantee the safety of its reporters in their daily coverage of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Domingos was wearing a bullet-proof vest but it did not offer protection against rifles, the gun most commonly used by drug traffickers there.

This is the first time a member of a reporting team has died in a confrontation between police and criminals in the city, according to the Association of Reporters, Photographers and Cameramen of Rio de Janeiro (Arfoc in Portuguese), reported the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.

Press groups mourned the death, including the Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters, the Brazilian Press Association and the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji in Portuguese). Arfoc said that journalists need to be better trained for this kind of reporting and, when necessary, not risk their lives in dangerous circumstances.

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) also expressed its dismay at the death and remembered that, after Mexico, Brazil is the most dangerous country in Latin America to practice journalism. Abraji and INSI offer safety training for journalists operating in conflict zones and other violent situations.

The Union of Journalists of Rio de Janeiro blamed the Bandeirantes network for not protecting the reporter appropriately in a high risk environment, according to the Estado news agency. On a note published on their website, the union alleged that the cameraman was also asked to "driving the broadcaster's vehicle, against all safety norms in high risk areas."

In the union's opinion, the event highlighted the "immediate need to continue to push for the safety procedures recommended after the death of Tim Lopes."

Gelson Domingos had over 20 years experience as a reporter. He worked for some of the largest television broadcasters in the country and won several important awards for his police coverage, according to G1.