At least 14 people were killed and six others injured in a shooting attack at a dance club in the northeastern Brazilian city of Fortaleza, local authorities confirmed on Saturday.
The killings occurred in the crowded dance club named "Forro do Gago" on Saturday dawn when a group of heavily armed men barged into the party and began to shoot at people.
Eyewitnesses told local Globo TV channel that the gunmen arrived at the club in three cars and sprayed bullets into the front of the building for almost half an hour before fleeing.
The attack has caused a large number of casualties. Local media reported that 14 people have been killed and at least six others injured, some of them children.
Two of the injured were in critical condition, according to hospital sources.
Some netizens posted pictures on social media networks which showed at least 12 bodies were lying on the ground, most of them women.
Local police said they had never seen such a brutal scene of carnage.
Bullet marks can be seen on the walls of the club, nearby houses and vehicles parked around. Even though it rained Saturday, the club was stained with blood.
Local police said that the shooting was "well planned" and the agents were searching for suspects with a helicopter overseeing the security situation in the region.
Police were investigating whether the killings were part of an ongoing turf war between two drug gangs.
The state of Ceara, with Fortaleza as its capital, registered a record number of homicides in 2017, according to state governor Camilo Santana, who said earlier that some 82 percent of the homicides were results of conflict between drug gangs over territory control.