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Off-duty police officer shoots armed robbers dead while holding baby in other arm

Rafael Souza opens fire after pair burst into pharmacy wearing hoods and wielding weapons

Jeff Farrell
Monday 20 November 2017 16:02 GMT
Sgt Souza shot dead the two assailants while holding his child
Sgt Souza shot dead the two assailants while holding his child (Screengrab/Radio Acesa)

An off-duty military police officer shot dead two armed robbers while holding his child in one arm when the pair tried to hold up a pharmacy, CCTV footage shows.

Sergeant Rafael Souza had walked into the business 40km outside the city of São Paulo, Brazil, with his wife and child to buy medicine when the two men burst in wearing hoods and wielding guns.

One of the men - Jefferson Alves, 24 - then reportedly pointed his weapon at Mr Souza, who drew his pistol and is seen on camera shooting the attacker at close range.

The in-store video shows the officer disappear from the frame while his wife is seen taking cover in an aisle with her hands over her ears.

Mr Souza then appears back in the picture and hands his child over to the mother.

He moves outside the frame again before reportedly shooting the other assailant, identified as Italo Creato, 22.

The action took place in Bifarma in the centre of Campo Limpo Paulista, local news station Radio Acesa reported.

Paramedics later arrived to attend to the pair after the melee at Praça Castelo Branco shopping centre, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

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.

Forensics investigators are currently examining weapons seized at the scene on Saturday while police are also trawling through the CCTV footage.

YouTube user 13athanatosgr13 described Mr Souza as a “hero”, but added: “He should have left the kid somewhere safe.”

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