Two Brazilian cops were taken to the hospital with serious injuries on Wednesday after opening fire on each other in a pharmacy in Fortaleza in a bizarre case of mistaken identity.
A video posted online shows the moment of the “regrettable” confrontation between the two men.
Caution: Images may be disturbing to some viewers.
Another very graphic video shows the two cops writhing in a pool of blood with onlookers gathered around them. Please be advised, video contains graphic images that may disturb some viewers.
According to the Daily Mail, police investigator Olivio Gabriel Torres, who was in plain clothes, was walking on the street in the city in Northeast Brazil when he spotted a man in a pharmacy “acting suspiciously.”
The man, who he thought was about to rob the shop, turned out to be military police officer Edilson Barreto da Silva. CCTV footage of the shootout shows that Silva was about to pay for items at the counter in the pharmacy when Torres enters the shop and puts a gun to his back.
Torres had told Silva to lift up his shirt, according to the Daily Mail. The surveillance video of the incident shows the military police officer, who appeared stunned, attempting to wriggle out of Torres’ hold. This resulted in a scuffle that saw Silva also pull out his gun. Multiple shots were reportedly fired as both men fell to the ground.
The attendants at the pharmacy reportedly hid under the counter as the two Brazilian cops fought and peppered everywhere with gunshots. Witnesses revealed that some bullets hit buildings facing the pharmacy.
While no other person was injured in the incident, both police officers suffered serious injuries. Torres was shot in the face, while Silva suffered a gunshot wound to his thigh and abdomen.
“It appears to have been a regrettable misunderstanding as they both exchanged gunfire which resulted in severe injuries,” Inspector Romerio Almeida said. Nonetheless, Brazilian authorities are reportedly investigating the incident.
An eyewitness claimed that although Silva identified himself as a military police officer, Torres did not stop shooting at him. The two cops were reportedly disarmed by security guards working in the area.
While the exchange of gunfire between the two cops in Brazil has left many stunned, it is not the first instance of a police officer opening fire on suspected robbers in the country.
In April, CCTV footage of a botched robbery at a bus station in Fortaleza showed how a heroic Brazilian police officer stopped two thieves by opening fire on them, the Daily Mail reported. The plain-clothes cop, who sustained a gunshot wound from the incident, was reportedly waiting for a bus at the station when the robbers attacked.
Gun violence is rife in Brazil. Earlier this year, Mexico’s Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice released a list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world, according to the Independent. Nearly half (21 to be exact) of the 50 cities listed are located in Brazil. Fortaleza was named the 12th most dangerous city in the world on the list, which was based on the number of murders per 100,000 people in the city last year.
According to the list, Fortaleza is the most dangerous city in Brazil. The city recorded 60.77 homicides per 100,000 people in 2015. Some of the other Brazilian cities that appeared on the list include Natal, Salvador, Maceio, Sao Luis, Cuiaba, and Manaus.
Brazilian authorities have not provided any updates about the condition of the two cops who were taken to the Dr. Jose Fronta Institute Hospital for surgery after the shootout. It is unclear if both men knew each other before their bloody confrontation.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]