British mum shot in front of family in Brazilian favela after language mix-up in hunt for water

A British mum of three was shot in front of her family in a Brazilian favela after a language mix-up saw them take a wrong turn in search for water.

The victim, who has been identified by local media as 46-year-old Eloise Dixon, is being treated for two non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the stomach after the attack on the family's car on Sunday.

Her husband and three children were not hurt when armed men fired on the vehicle.

Eloise Dixon was shot in the abdomen but the bullets missed all her vital organs. Credit: Eloise Dixon/Facebook

The family had unwittingly driven into a dangerous neighbourhood in the popular coastal tourist spot of Angra dos Reis, around 90 miles west of Rio de Janeiro.

Their request for a place to buy water saw them directed to the Agua Santa neighbourhood, which translates as Holy Water.

A group of armed men approached the car and told the family to get out but it is understood their request was misunderstood.

The family had driven into the favela in their silver Renault Fluence. Credit: APTN

The O Globo newpaper said shots were then fired with one aimed at Ms Dixon's head while two struck her in the abdomen.

Medical Director Rodrigo Mucheli of the General Hospital of Japuiba told Globo TV the bullet missed all of her major vessels and organs.

She is understood to be stable after undergoing surgery.

Footage of the silver Renault vehicle showed a white bullet-hole ripped into the front passenger seat's black headrest from the attempted head-shot.

The family remain in police custody while Eloise Dixon is treated at a local hospital. Credit: APTN

Ms Dixon's family remain in police custody while she is being treated at a local hospital.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are in touch with the local authorities in Angra dos Reis, Brazil, following reports of the shooting of a British national."

Tourists in Brazil have occasionally been attacked when they accidentally stray into slums, which are often controlled by criminal gangs.

Ms Dixon's Facebook page lists her home as Gravesend in Kent.

The attack happened around 90 miles west of the Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro. Credit: PA