Brazilian Shootout: Police Helicopter Opens Fire On Fleeing Alleged Drug Kingpin [Video]

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — The skies over Rio weren’t that friendly for an alleged drug trafficker on the run from the authorities.

Police were in hot pursuit of Marcio Pereira (known as the “Mathematician”) through a densely populated residential area, and officers in a police helicopter began shooting at what they suspected was his fleeing vehicle. See dramatic embed below.

Pereira — who was said to be one of Rio’s most wanted drug lords — managed to escape the cops on foot, but was reportedly found dead the next day in a parked car.

The police helicopter footage has created an uproar in Brazil.

This incident dates back to May 2012, but the footage of helicopter-car chase recently emerged a few days ago and was shown on a Brazilian television program called Fantastico. “Reportedly, from an altitude between 3,000 and 3,900 feet, police in the video spotted a man they said ‘looked like’ Pereira. The helicopter then descended to an altitude of about 65 to 130 feet before pursuing a vehicle that apparently had Pereira traveling inside it. Police opened fire, shooting several rounds while chasing the speeding car.”

When this incident occurred, police deemed it a “resistance killing” and claimed they were fired upon first when they began hunting for the suspect earlier in the day.

Several government agencies in Brazil have launched investigations as to whether the police used excessive force in tracking down drug trafficking suspect Marcio Pereira and otherwise followed appropriate law enforce procedures.

Brazil is hosting the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016, and there are security concerns for both events given the crime rate in Rio and elsewhere.

Watch the footage of officers in a police helicopter spraying gunfire on a fleeing suspect in a car who is driving through a shanty town called Favela da Coréia. Based on this limited footage, does it appear that the cops were too trigger-happy in this incident?

[Top image via Shutterstock]