An off-duty police officer is being hailed a hero after she stopped an armed robbery while waiting outside her daughter’s school.
Mother-of-two military police officer, 42-year-old Katia da Silva Sastre, was waiting with her seven-year-old daughter outside a school in Sao Paulo on Saturday morning (May 12) at around 8am.
The school, Ferreira Master, in the Jardim dos Ipês suburb of the city, was due to host a Mother’s Day party, meaning several families were outside waiting for the gates to open.
As seen in the security camera footage, a man dressed in a black jacket walks up to the group of mothers and small children, before pulling out a gun.
Officer Sastre, who’s worked on the force for 20 years, was quick to take action, surprising the man by firing her weapon three times.
The suspect, identified as Elivelton Neves Moreira, died later the same day in hospital from his injuries.
You can watch the footage of the incident here, however, the content is distressing:
Despite the ‘regrettable’ outcome Officer Sastre has been commended for her courage and actions, being honoured in a ceremony by Sao Paulo Governor, Márcio França, on Sunday (May 13).
Taking to Twitter, the Governor wrote:
I went earlier to the 4th BAEP in the east of Sao Paulo to honour a very special mother: Corporal Katia Sastre.
Her courage and precision saved mothers and children, yesterday at the door of a school.
Fui hoje cedo ao 4°BAEP , na zona Leste de São Paulo, para homenagear uma mãe muito especial: Cabo Katia Sastre. Sua coragem e precisão salvou mães e crianças, ontem na porta de uma escola. #PMSP #PoliciaMilitar #VcPodeConfiar #EstadodeSãoPaulo #GovernodeSP pic.twitter.com/Vi643s1M3e
— Márcio França (@marciofrancagov) May 13, 2018
Officer Sastre spoke to Folha de Sao Paulo about the incident:
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.
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.
Warned by another woman who’d ran past her, saying a robbery had taken place, it didn’t take long for Officer Sastre to jump into action, following her instincts.
According to Officer Sastre’s husband, André Alves, a military police lieutenant, the suspect’s gun fired once.
He added, it’s not known whether Moreira or Officer Sastre shot first:
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 (their opponent) is a police officer, he shoots to kill.
In our profession we must always be attentive. She is calm and knows that she acted correctly. Everything ended fine.
It would be a risk if he had searched her before and found out she is a cop.
As Mayor Franca summed up, although ‘it is not ideal the suspect died’, no one else was hurt and the incident acts as a warning to others who ‘take up a gun’.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.