Witness says Rio bus carrying Olympic journalists was hit by gunfire and not rocks

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Rio Olympic organizers said in a preliminary analysis that stones not bullets hit a bus carrying journalists, but at least one witness is refuting that, saying it was gunfire.

Military police in Rio de Janeiro have ramped up security after an Olympic media bus was hit, breaking two windows and injuring at least one journalist covering the games.

The incident happened as the bus was traveling in the Curicica area of Rio de Janeiro as it traveled toward the Olympic Park on Tuesday.

Games security official Luiz Fernando Correa says through a translator that "we have a preliminary analysis that it was actually a stone and not firearms shots."

Correa doesn't know yet whether the stones were thrown "by hand or by any other instrument" but he says it was an "act of vandalism not a criminal act with the intention of injuring one person or another."

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Mobile security patrols are being stepped up on roads around Olympic venues.

"There was kind of a popping noise and something hit two windows on the side of the bus and left two hole marks, which looked like bullet holes," David Davies, a photographer for the British-based news agency Press Association, told the AP.

There had been reports that the bus was hit by a stray bullet.

Retired U.S. Air Force captain Lee Michealson, who was on the bus and covers women’s basketball, told Britain’s Press Association on Wednesday that the bus was hit by gunfire en route from a venue. She said she instinctively hit the floor when she heard the sound of gunfire and “hollered to others… ‘Get down! Get down! We are taking fire.”

"I know what a gun sounds like," she said. "It was the sound before I ever saw the glass (shatter) or anything."

But Olympic organizers struck down that claim.

Eleven reporters – three Brazilian and eight foreign – were on the bus. A Belarusian journalist received minor cuts on the hand from the glass.

The Rio organizing committee said the driver heard a noise from inside the bus, which he thought was photography equipment falling down.

When he checked his rear view mirror, he found the journalists were lying on the ground. He saw a police car and stopped.

"At this time, he realized that two windows on the same side of the bus were broken," the committee said in a statement. "He resumed the route under the escort of the police car and the broken windows began to give way further."

The incident raises more concerns surrounding security at the games.

On Saturday, a stray bullet flew through the roof of a media tent at the Olympic Equestrian Center. Officials said it had been fired from a hillside favela, but said the games had not been targeted. Organizers said the intended target was probably a security camera on a blimp.

Rio has deploying about 85,000 soldiers and police to secure the games, twice as many as London did four years ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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