It takes a special kind of scumbag to rob mothers and children outside of a school, but Elivelton Neves Moreira thought he was up to the task earlier this month in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
He wasn’t counting on off-duty military police officer Katia da Silva Sastre, who jumped into action when she saw her daughter and friends were in danger.
“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 told the Independent. “I just thought about defending the mums, the children, my own life and my daughter’s.”
Recently released surveillance footage shows Moreira approaching a group of mothers and children who are standing outside of Colégio Ferreira Master School in preparation for a Mother’s Day party.
The thug pulls out a semi-automatic handgun, points it at the crowd, and appears to reach for one of the women’s handbags.
Sastre can be seen pulling out her own gun, and she doesn’t hesitate to use it when she sees an opportunity.
“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,” she said.
“It’s gratifying to have been in the right place to have saved all our lives.”
She shoots Moreira two or three times, and he falls to the ground, yelling in pain. Sastre retreats behind a car for cover, but Moreira had already dropped his gun and put his hands in the air. Sastre kicks it to the side and holds Moreira at gunpoint until police arrive.
Investigators later discovered that Moreira did manage to shoot back, but his first shot hit the ground and his second jammed in the firearm.
Moreira died of his wounds at the hospital later that day.
Sastre was formally commended for bravery in a ceremony on Sunday.
Márcio França, the governor of São Paulo, said Sastre acted with “dexterity, technique and courage.”
“She went to the party to celebrate [Mother’s Day] and a situation like this happened,” Franca said. “She acted so precisely, so perfectly, that we decided to honour her.”
The governor, likely not echoing the sentiments of the mothers and children who were there that day, described Moreira’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.”