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Marielle Franco, 38, a Rio de Janeiro City Council member, and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, 39, were gunned down on March 14, 2018, after a vehicle pulled alongside theirs and opened fire. Both Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were killed.

Two police officials told The Associated Press that two men in a auto fired nine shots into the vehicle carrying the 38-year-old Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. Ms Franco had harshly criticised that move on Sunday, saying it could worsen police violence against residents. The councilor's press officer, who was in the backseat, was hit by glass fragments and injured but survived.

She was active in organizations like the Brasil Foundation and Cesam (Maré Center for Solidarity Actions) as well as at Alerj (Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly) itself.

In city council elections in 2016 she surprised everyone, including herself, by getting 46,000 votes, the fifth biggest tally of anyone running. Brazilian authorities said a full investigation would take place.

A member of a leftist party, Franco was also known for her social work in slums.

As a young, black, favela-bred lesbian woman activist, she championed several underrepresented demographics in Brazil's institutional politics and was beloved by activists across the country.

On Sunday on her verified Facebook account, Ms Franco decried what she alleged to be the police killing of two boys during a police raid in an area called Acari.

Posters depicting councillor Marielle Franco on a wall the day after she was murdered, in Rio.

Franco was a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSOL), and recently accused a slew of police officials of being excessively violent when searching homes in slums that were controlled by gangs. Franco repeated a phrase that she always said, "We are together". Commenting on the death of a youth, she said: "One more homicide of a young man that may be put towards the police count".

Two weeks ago, Franco was named a rapporteur in a special commission in Rio, which was enacted by the city council to monitor the current military intervention in the city of Rio de Janeiro. On Tuesday, United Nations human rights officials issued a statement expressing "profound concern" about the intervention, which they warned could lead to human rights violations.

Franco was a vocal critic of police violence against civilians, as well as a member of a city council committee overseeing the military intervention in Rio.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, who is contemplating a bid for the presidency, said the assassination underscores the need of the Rio military operation.

The outcry over Franco's death comes a month after Brazil's president, Michel Temer, signed a decree placing the military in overall charge of security in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The mayor called for three days of mourning in the city, and a demonstration in memory of Ms. Franco and against police violence is planned for Thursday evening.