A UCLA student was killed on vacation in Rio de Janeiro three days after being shot by a stray bullet

A UCLA student who was on vacation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, died on Friday after he was shot by a stray bullet during a shootout with drug dealers and vigilantes.

Trey Barber, who lives in Los Angeles, was shot in the back of the head three days before he succumbed to his wounds, the US Consulate in Rio and hospital Samaritano Botafogo confirmed.

The 28-year-old languages ​​scholar, who was working towards getting his doctorate, was visiting a friend in Cascadura when the stray bullet was fired from Fubá Hill and entered the apartment he was in.

Barber was allegedly reaching out for the television remote when he was hit, Brazilian news outlets reported.

Barber was rushed to the hospital and kept on a ventilator during treatment after the fatal shot. He was sadly pronounced dead on Friday.

Tributes poured in for the American tourist – who was heralded as a ‘shining light in this world.’

Trey Barber, 28, tragically died from a stray bullet in Brazil, where he was on holiday. The scholar was two years into his program at UCLA studying Portuguese language and literature. He previously received his bachelor’s degree from UCSB in the same area of ​​study, according to his LinkedIn account

Trey Barber, initially identified by police as Joseph Trey Thomas, died on Friday in Rio de Janeiro after being shot in the back of the neck by a stray bullet while visiting a friend

Trey Barber, initially identified by police as Joseph Trey Thomas, died on Friday in Rio de Janeiro after being shot in the back of the neck by a stray bullet while visiting a friend

PICTURED: Cascadura neighborhood where Barber was shot on August 9 while visiting a friend in Rio de Janeiro

PICTURED: Cascadura neighborhood where Barber was shot on August 9 while visiting a friend in Rio de Janeiro

Family and friends also set up a GoFundMe page to raise $15,000 to help bring his body back to the US after dying while on vacation.

It read: ‘We are raising money for the family of Trey Barber, who died in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, three days after being shot during a confrontation between local drug dealers and vigilantes.

‘Trey was in Brazil on vacation, a place he loved with all his heart.’

Barber was a PhD student at UCLA at the time of his death, where he also taught language classes.

The scholar previously got his 2018 bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara studying Portuguese language and literature, according to his LinkedIn account.

Jenny Choi contributed to Barber’s funeral expenses while remembering her late classmate as ‘funny’ and ‘kind’ with a ‘brilliant soul.’

She wrote: ‘Trey and I met through school, particularly getting closer this past year leading up to our masters degrees.

‘I’ve never met someone with such high impact for how little words he’d say, and we’d often acknowledge his talent with words.’

‘Trey often helped set up zooms so I could attend class remotely when sick, and I will forever be grateful for his kindness and generosity. We’d check in on each other during our most stressful quarter yet, encouraging each other to do well on our MA exams, looking forward to our summer travels & relaxation.’

Choi concluded: ‘My heart hurts for Trey and his family. He’s told me before how close he is with his mom and how loving and supportive everyone in his family is.’

It's not clear where Trey was staying within the Cascadura neighborhood (highlighted in red) but the shots were fired from near Fubá Hill

It’s not clear where Trey was staying within the Cascadura neighborhood (highlighted in red) but the shots were fired from near Fubá Hill

Barber sought a career as a future translator.  His family and friends are now trying to raise funds to bring his body home

Barber sought a career as a future translator. His family and friends are now trying to raise funds to bring his body home

PICTURED: Cascadura neighborhood where Barber was shot.  He was picking up a television remote when a stray bullet hit him in the back of the neck, according to local reports

PICTURED: Cascadura neighborhood where Barber was shot. He was picking up a television remote when a stray bullet hit him in the back of the neck, according to local reports

Barber was remembered by a former classmate as being 'funny' and 'kind' with a 'brilliant soul.'  On a GoFundMe donation comment for Barber, Jenny Choi said he was close to his mom and his 'loving' and 'supportive' family

Barber was remembered by a former classmate as being ‘funny’ and ‘kind’ with a ‘brilliant soul.’ On a GoFundMe donation comment for Barber, Jenny Choi said he was close to his mom and his ‘loving’ and ‘supportive’ family

Barber sought a career as a future translator and enjoyed learning the meaning behind certain Portuguese phrases that cannot be translated into English, according to the UCLA graduate student page.

‘I hope to focus my future research on meaning and equivalence in regards to translating from one language into another, which in my case will be specifically focused on translations from Portuguese into English and possibly vice-versa,’ Barber wrote.

Local police also found another dead man after the same shootout.

According to Instituto Fogo Cruzado, which counts shootings in several Brazilian cities, 116 people were shot in Rio’s metropolitan area in 2021.

Twenty-four of them died.

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