Gunman attempting to rob families outside school shot dead by waiting mother who was off-duty police officer

'I didn’t know if he was going to shoot the kids or the mothers or the security guard at the school door. I just thought about defending the mums, the children, my own life and my daughter’s'

Chris Baynes
Monday 14 May 2018 14:09 BST
Off-duty police woman shoots gunman outside school

A gunman who tried to rob families with young children outside a school was shot dead by a mother who turned out to be an off-duty police officer.

Dramatic CCTV footage shows Elivelton Neves Moreira, 21, pointing a firearm at a group of women in Sao Paolo, Brazil, while their terrified children watch on.

The robbery was foiled by Katia da Silva Sastre, 42, a military police officer who had been arriving at the private school with her seven-year-old daughter for a Mother’s Day party.

The footage shows Moreira approach the group and point a .38 revolver at a school security guard. He is seen reaching out to grab the man’s wallet before Ms Sastre intervenes.

After pulling her police-issue gun from her bag, she loads the weapon, steps forward and fires three times at Moreira’s chest and leg as he tries to fire back.

“I didn’t know if he was going to shoot the kids or the mothers or the security guard at the school door,” the officer said. “I just thought about defending the mums, the children, my own life and my daughter’s.”

After being shot, Moreira fell backwards into a road and released two rounds from his own weapon as he hits the ground. The first one ricochets off the road, hitting no one, and the second jammed in his firearm.

The video shows Ms Sastre going over to the injured robber as he writhes on the ground in pain, crying out for help. She kicks away his weapon and orders the suspect to turn over before pinning him to the ground with her foot while awaiting back-up and medical help.

Moreira died later that day in hospital.

Ms Sastre, a mother-of-two a police officer for more than 20 years, 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.

“It’s gratifying to have been in the right place to have saved all our lives.”

Ms Sastre’s husband, military police lieutenant Andre Alves, told Folha de Sao Paulo: “The suspect’s gun fired once, but it is not known whether or not it was before Katia fired.

“The first shot ricocheted and got lost. On his second attempt at firing, the weapon locked. Thankfully she was faster than him, because when a thug discovers he’s being confronted by a police officer, he shoots to kill.”

Ms Sastre was formally commended for bravery in a ceremony on Sunday.

Katia da Silva Sastre was commended for her bravery

Paying tribute to the officer at the police station where she works, Sao Paulo governor Marcio Franca said she had shown “dexterity, technique and courage.”

He presented Ms Sastre with some flowers “because it’s Mother’s Day and because she is a mum.”

“She went to the party to celebrate the date and a situation like this happened,” Mr Franca said. ”She acted so precisely, so perfectly, that we decided to honour her.”

The governor described the robber's death as ”sad and regrettable”.

“It is not ideal that the suspect died. We would have preferred this had not happened,” he said. ”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.”

Public security secretary Maggie Alves said: “She pushed the children out of the way and approached the thief. She shoots, the boy shoots, the boy tries to shoot at her leg. She immobilises the boy and calls the [emergency services]. It was a perfect procedure from a technical point of view.”

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