A police official in Rio de Janeiro says a city council member and her driver have been shot to death by two unidentified attackers in the Brazilian city's downtown.

The official tells The Associated Press that nine shots were fired into the car carrying Marielle Franco and her driver Wednesday night. He says it appears Franco was targeted. The official agreed to reveal details on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Franco was an expert on police violence and on Saturday accused officers of being overly aggressive in searching residents of gang-controlled shantytowns.

A member of a leftist party, Franco was known for her social work in slums and she received the fifth most votes among council members elected in 2016.