A gunman who tried to rob children and families outside a Sao Paulo, Brazil, school on Saturday morning was met with deadly force from a mother who happened to be an off-duty policewoman.
Security cameras show Elivelton Neves Moreira announcing a robbery and pointing a .38 revolver at mothers outside Ferreira Master school when 42-year-old Katia da Silva Sastre quickly drew her weapon and fired three times at the gunman, the Daily Mail reported.
Neves Moreira was hospitalized but later died from his wounds.
Officer Sastre was commended for her heroism. She had reportedly been warned by a fellow mother several seconds earlier while the gunman was in the process of robbing someone else.
The video shows Sastre shooting the assailant in the chest and leg as he tried to return fire, getting off two shots before falling backward. She then secured the assailant and waited for help to arrive. No one else was injured.
“I didn’t know if he was going to shoot the kids or the mothers or the security guard at the school door,” she told colleagues, according to DailyMail. “I just thought about defending the mums, the children, my own life and my daughter’s.”
“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 added. “It’s gratifying to have been in the right place to have saved all our lives.”
And now, on Mother’s Day, the policewoman and mother of two is being commended for her bravery.
“She went to the party to celebrate the date and a situation like this happened. She acted so precisely, so perfectly, that we decided to honor her,” said Sao Paulo’s Governor Márcio França, while calling the gunman’s death “sad and regrettable.”
“It is not ideal that the suspect died,” Franca said. “We would have preferred this had not happened. 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.”