Brazilian surfer Ricardo dos Santos has died after reportedly being shot outside his home by an off-duty police officer.

The 24-year-old was murdered after he allegedly confronted policeman Luis Brentano, 25, and his brother, 27, over using drugs in the street in Santa Catarina.

He was shot three times in the abdomen. He later died in hospital from his injuries despite multiple operations.

Brentano was arrested on suspicion of murder but has not yet been charged. He claims dos Santos threatened him with a knife. But police told Brazilian news site GL Globo no weapon was found at the scene.

Tributes from across the world have since been paid to the much-loved surf star.

His father said: \"We need to pray and thank God for the time he lived among us.

\"A great athlete, he was an example.\"

\"An incredible human being!\" wrote Carlos Burle, another top Brazilian surfer, in a post on Instagram. He said dos Santos had \"a whole life ahead of him\".

\"Dos Santos was a fearless, world-class tuberider, who captured the surf world\'s attention with an incredible performance at the 2012 Billabong Pro, Tahiti, for which he took home the Andy Irons Forever Inspiration Award,\" Surfer Magazine stated.