Stray Bullet Comes Through Media Center Roof in Rio [Update: Aimed at Police Blimp]

The bullet hole in the media center roof. Photo by Jenni Autry. The bullet hole in the media center roof. Photo by Jenni Autry.

There’s much commotion currently surrounding the media center at the Olympic equestrian venue in Rio de Janeiro, as a stray bullet sliced through the tent and fell to the floor just over an hour ago. No one was injured, though the room was packed with journalists and photographers working during the lunch break at the time.

I was up in the press tribune in the grandstands working on my lunchtime report when the bullet came through the roof, but we all knew something was up when Jane Thompson of Horse & Pony Magazine was called into an “emergency meeting” with New Zealand officials.

A swarm of police officers standing outside the door to the media center. Photo by Jenni Autry.

A swarm of police officers standing outside the door to the media center. Photo by Jenni Autry.

A swarm of police were standing outside the media center door when I went down to the mixed zone to interview Kathryn Robinson, who was the first to go after the lunch break. That’s when Pippa Roome showed me the photo of the bullet hole in the roof, which you can see over on Horse & Hound.

With the equestrian venue located next to a military base, the chatter amongst the media currently is that the bullet could have been accidentally fired by someone on the base. We are waiting on an official statement on the incident. You can read more details over on Horse & Hound.

To reiterate, everyone is safe. We will keep you updated on the situation.

Update 6 p.m. EST: An investigation is currently underway as to the origin of the bullet. Olympic spokesman Mario Andrada confirmed in a security briefing later in the day that “this area was not a target. It was a stray bullet. It did not have to do with the Games.” We will continue to bring you more on the story as the investigation unfolds

Update Aug. 7: A second security briefing was held this afternoon at the Olympic equestrian center. Via the Associated Press:

Officials say the bullet that flew through the roof of a media tent at the Olympic Equestrian Center came from a nearby slum and was aimed at a police blimp.

A bullet pierced the roof of the tent on Saturday and landed on the floor. The competition was not disrupted and nobody was hurt.

Organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said Sunday that the bullet “came from a community far from here, they were aiming at the police blimp which carried cameras.”

Security has been increased nearby and from the areas where officials say the bullet originated.

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