Brazilian security guard, 26, 'confesses to killing 39 people'

Credit: RTV

A 26-year-old hospital security guard in Brazil has reportedly confessed to shooting dead 39 people in a three-year killing spree in Goiania.

Brazlian police say Thiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha targeted mostly women, but also homeless people, and possibly transgender women and gay men.

He was arrested on Tuesday, two months after police set up a special task force following a spate of murders in the city since the start of the year.

Some of Gomes de Rocha's victims Credit: APTN

Gomes de Rocha, who worked for a private security company in a public obstetrics hospital, was caught by CCTV footage of him at a snack bar in Goias, where the latest crime was committed.

He is believed to have used a motorbike to approach victims, wearing a helmet to hide his identity and announcing "robbery" before shooting his victims dead and not taking any possessions.

The CCTV footage that police used to snare the killer Credit: APTN

Police found a .38 revolver and stolen numberplates in the home he shared with his mother.

According to police reports, he had committed the murders in order to "alleviate his personal suffering and anxiety," though his lawyer said his client has confessed to crimes he did not commit under aggressive questioning.

Family members and friends wearing T-shirts baring the face of one of the killer's victims Credit: RTV

Family members and friends of some of the killer's victims gathered outside the building where Gomes de Rocha is being held.

"Now we know there won't be any more victims. It's over," one relative said.

"I'm a bit relieved. I know this pain will not go away. I know what he did will last forever," said another.

Gomes De Rocha is thought to have attempted suicide on Thursday after being found with cuts across his wrists from a lightbulb he broke in his cell.