Two armed robbers allegedly stormed into a pharmacy in Brazil while an off-duty military police officer was shopping there with his wife and baby son. Dramatic surveillance video captured what happened next.
After one of the alleged thieves reportedly pointed a weapon in his direction, Sgt. Rafael Souza, the off-duty cop, opened fire several times with his gun while holding the baby in his other arm as depicted in the video. He also shot the second suspect.
EMTs pronounced both suspects in the shootout, who were in their early 20s, dead at the scene Saturday at the Praca Castelo Branco shopping center located about 25 miles outside of Sao Paolo.
“Mr Souza, of the 49th Metropolitan Battalion in São Paulo, told investigators he shot at the men because he believed they would have opened fire first after he identified himself as a police officer,” the Independent of London reported.
As the video concludes, the officer is seen handing the baby over to his wife, who was understandably ducking for cover next to store shelves as he continued to pursue the suspects inside the store.
Law enforcement authorities are conducting a forensic investigation of the weapons involved in the drug store shooting that occurred in the city of Campo Limpo Paulista and reviewing all available security footage.
Strange as it may seem, a somewhat similar incident happened previously in Brazil, according to the RT news agency. Three years ago, a criminal attacked an off-duty cop while he was carrying his 3-month-old daughter elsewhere in the San Paolo area. The officer shot the attacker and subsequently took him into custody, but had to drop the infant in the process. Fortunately, her injuries were minor.
The U.S. State Department warns visitors that Sao Paolo, the most populous city in Brazil and capital of the state of Sao Paolo, is a high-crime area, particularly for armed street robberies. The agency notes that armed robberies, assault, burglary, rape, kidnapping, and theft can victimize residents as well as tourists in all neighborhoods, including upscale enclaves. Street gangs and organized crime groups are said to be responsible for the violence.
Watch the surveillance video of the off-duty officer shooting two alleged robbers in Brazil, which has received nearly 400,000 hits on YouTube as of this writing.
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