A gunman approached a group of children and family members in an attempted robbery, only to be shot and subdued by an off-duty police officer in Sao Paulo. Katia da Silva Sastre, a 442-year-old military police officer, acted quickly and was able to keep the group safe. The entire scene was captured by a security camera.
Before the gunman, later identified as 21-year-old Elivelton Neves Moreira, could do anything, the off-duty police officer had drawn her own weapon and fired three times, hitting Moreira in the chest and leg. Moreira managed to fire his weapon once before hitting the ground, but his gun jammed, according to Andre Alves, Sastre’s husband, who was interviewed by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
Moreira died later from his injuries, but Sastre was hailed as a hero by Sao Paulo Governor Márcio França. França visited Sastre at her police station and presented her with flowers, telling reporters gathered at the scene: “She went to the party to celebrate the date and a situation like this happened. She acted so precisely, so perfectly, that we decided to honour her.”
The surveillance video was captured outside of a school where children were waiting with their families for a Mother’s Day celebration, according to Newsweek. Sastre was there with her seven-year-old daughter. They were quickly approached by Moreira.
In the video, mothers can be seen grabbing their children and pulling them defensively away from the gun. Some of them managed to run away. Moreira makes his move, trying to grab one of the women’s purses. What Moreira doesn’t see is Sastre (in the pink shirt) pulling her own weapon out of her bag and loading it.
The off-duty police officer acts quickly, drawing her firearm and firing it three times at Moreira before he can use his own gun. Moreira quickly falls to the ground after being hit in the chest.
Sastre approaches Moreira and kicks his gun out of his reach, all while keeping her own gun trained on him. She then picks his gun up to keep it away from him.
Sastre rolls Moreira onto his stomach and plants her foot firmly on his back. She held him in place until emergency services arrived to take Moreira to the hospital.
Moreira died of his injuries while in the hospital. Governor França addressed Moreira’s death, saying to reporters: “It is not ideal that the suspect died. We would have preferred this had not happened,” according to Metro News, “But it is a warning to those who take up a gun that they could be killed because our security professionals are well trained to protect the public.”
Speaking to reporters about the situation, Sastre said: “I had to act quickly to end his aggression and prevent him from harming anyone. I reverted to the training I have received in the corporation,” according to The Independent.
According to a report from the World Economic Forum, Sao Paulo’s crime rate has been on a steady decline. Since 1999 the murder rate has declined from 52.5 per 100,000 inhabitants to 6.1 per 100,000.
Click here to watch the surveillance video. Warning: the video may be disturbing to some viewers.
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