An off-duty Brazilian cop held a baby on one side while he fired his pistol with another hand, shooting two suspected armed robberies dead in their tracks. Much of the incident was caught on surveillance camera and has since gone viral, with mixed opinions regarding the shooting.
Officer Rafael Souza is seen in the surveillance footage firing his weapon at two gunmen who entered a pharmacy on Saturday afternoon. According to the Daily Mail, the officer immediately reacted to the situation, taking matters into his own hands.
Both of the suspected robberies have been identified. According to the Independent, 24-year-old Jefferson Alves and 22-year-old Italo Creato, had apparently intended to rob the Bifarma in the center of Campo Limpo Paulista. At the time of the alleged attempted robbery, Souza was also in the pharmacy with his wife and son.
According to authorities, Creato and Alves entered the pharmacy “wearing hoods and wielding guns.” Souza pointed his gun at the suspects and identified himself as a police officer. Police say that the situation quickly escalated.
In the video, you can see Souza firing his pistol at close-range towards one suspect. Souza fires his weapon while holding his young son with one arm. Both suspects were shot dead by Souza, according to police.
WARNING: What you’re about to see is graphic footage of Officer Souza shooting at suspects. Both suspects were killed in the shooting. Be warned, some viewers may find this video to be disturbing…
“Sgt Souza, of the 49th Metropolitan Battalion, said that the suspect intended to shoot him so he reacted. He pulled his gun and shot one of the assailants at point-blank range before he pursued the other man. His wife screamed as she reached out for the baby while cowering below shelves,” according to a report from the Daily Mail.
Both suspects were already dead when paramedics and police arrived on the scene. It’s not known whether anyone else was injured in the incident. However, according to reports, Souza’s baby appeared uninjured.
The response online has been very mixed. Some are labeling Souza “a hero” for his quick actions in neutralizing an alleged attempted armed robbery, while others online are criticizing him for engaging with gunmen while still holding a small child.
“He should have left the kid somewhere safe,” wrote one YouTube user.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that a police officer in Brazil was involved in a shooting while holding a baby. According to RT, back in 2014, an off-duty Brazilian cop was attacked while holding his three-month-old daughter in his arms. The officer shot and arrested the attacker but accidentally dropped his daughter in the process.
RT reports, “In 2014, an off-duty officer in Campinas, Sao Paulo, was attacked while holding his three-month-old daughter. The cop was forced to drop the baby, but was able to shoot and later apprehend the criminal. His daughter sustained only minor injuries.”