An Instagram influencer has been shot dead as she left a nightclub with her friends.
Samynha Silva, aged 21, died in Brazil after she was fatally fired at by two men on a motorbike, according to reports.
The attack took place as Samya left a nightclub in the Brazilian city of Teresina on Sunday 1 October. No arrests have been reported at the time of writing, on Wednesday 4 October, and the men remain unidentified. The police investigation continues.
So, just who was Silva, what happened to her and what tributes have been left to her? Here’s what you need to know.
Who was Samynha Silva?
Samynha Silva was a Portuguese 21-year-old social media influencer and mother. She had more than 67,000 followers on her Instagram page, @samynha_silva. Her feed includes photos and videos of her out enjoying herself with her friends, and also with her young son.
There are also photos of Silva on her motorbike, including one which has the caption: “I've always been a dreamer and that's what keeps me alive, never stop dreaming.”
She was known for posting some controversial content, including one video where she spoke about her support of the legalisation of cannabis.
What happened to Samynha Silva?
Silva, a mum-of-one, had just left a nightclub in Teresina, a city in northeastern Brazil on Sunday 1 October. She was riding a motorcycle with her two friends, when the two men also riding a motorbike demanded that she pull over, according to local police. She apparently refused and sped away before abandoning her bike and continuing her journey on foot, along with her friends, police delegate Francisco Costa said.
The men fired at least six gunshots at Silva, who collapsed in a heap near a roundabout as a result of her injuries, police said. Paramedics who arrived on the scene minutes later confirmed her death. Her friends suffered no injuries.
After the attack one of the people who she was with, Yrla Silva, who goes by the name Yrla Lima on social media, reportedly took to her own Instagram to share a photo of her shattered mobile phone which had been hit by a bullet during the incident. The image was captioned: “Not being able to do anything. Just try to save myself.” She had also shared a series of photographs of her and Silva together with a caption that read: “We had so much fun today.”
Following the killing, police cordoned off the crime scene and investigators are now working to identify the killers and also establish a motive for the murder. There has been speculation online that the shooting may have been gang-related.
Silva was once reportedly filmed dancing to music with friends while making a "number three" hand sign - believed to refer to the three initials of the PCC. The PCC stands for Primeiro Comando da Capital, a criminal organisation which is believed to be Brazil’s largest and best organised. However, Yrla appeared to shut down this rumour when she wrote “there are people who talk so much s**t without knowing anything” on her Instagram Stories following the attack.
Local journalist Weslley Paz also referred to Silva’s apparent crime connections in his Instagram post. He said: “Let's use the example of young Samynha as a reminder to other young people to make better choices and seek a path that leads them to a positive and promising future. It’s not too late to change direction and make choices that build a worthy and rewarding future.”
What tributes have been left to Samynha Silva?
Multiple tributes have been left to Silva online following her death. Yrla shared a photo of the two of them to her Instagram stories, with captions overlaid declaring that “the world is full of evil” and that she had been left “feeling empty”.
One person, alluding to the cause of Silva’s death, said: “Your heart was good, bad people who provoked your worst side, but you were good! I still had so much to conquer… So sad, now you will be able to have true peace.”
Other people have left tributes to her on her Instagram page. One read: “Such a beautiful young lady. Omg, no matter what.. she was just a girl, daughter and mother... May God comfort the family and take care of their son.” Another person said: “Well, no one deserves to be killed the way she did!! May God give her a good place.”
Other followers of Silva mourned the fact they would no longer see her presence online. One said: “you will never get that notification ‘samynha_sillva is live now’, while another added: “We'll never see that smile and her craziness in the stories.” One other person said: “I kept watching your stories until they disappeared, I'm still waiting for an update that unfortunately will never happen again.”
Other followers simply offered their condolences to Silva’s family and said they were sorry for their loss.