According to sources in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and the Associated Press, a hostage situation unfolded inside a bus on an 8 mile-long bridge around 5:30am on August 20. The perpetrator was said to be armed with an unspecified gun, a knife and a lighter. The man held about 37 people hostage for four hours. During that time, the hostage taker bound people’s wrists with zip ties, doused the bus with gasoline and strung up open containers of gas within the bus.
The perp’s goals weren’t exactly clear as he didn’t ask for anyone’s property or make certain demands from the state. He had threatened to set the bus on fire and had also mentioned jumping off the bridge with a hostage. The hostage taker eventually released several hostages at a time on a few occasions. One woman collapsed after being released. She was treated by medics while being shielded by police as documented by the Associated Press’ YouTube channel in the video below. You can also see a wide view of the scene on the bridge as well as a sniper getting into position on a fire truck.
At the end of the stand-off, the perp was said to have stepped off the bus, where he tossed a bag at police. As he attempted to climb back into the bus he was shot by a police sniper. The Liveleak.com video HERE shows that moment unfold. Although it’s clear the perpetrator is shot, the video is not graphic and no blood can be seen.
The photo below from Antonio Lacerda (EPA-EFE/ REX) and redistributed by the Los Angeles Times HERE, shows a police sniper celebrating the end of the engagement. The sniper is holding an AR-pattern rifle. Does it look like an AR-10 or AR-15 to you? If I had to guess, I’d say it’s chambered in 7.62.
The sniper wasn’t the only one to celebrate. Governor Wilson Witzel arrived by helicopter and praised the police for the outcome. He has reportedly been outspoken about being in favor of police taking out armed criminals with rifles (including from helicopters). When criticized for his celebration, Governor Witzel said: “My moment of joy was seeing the lives saved.” He also said, “The ideal is for everyone to leave alive, but we had to make the decision to save the hostages.”
It was later revealed that the hostage taker was only using a toy gun. Thankfully, no hostages were severely injured during the ordeal. The hostage taker’s family have also apologized for his actions. You can go HERE to view some of the photos hostages were able to take during their captivity.
Are there any TFB readers that know what snipers in Rio De Janeiro are issued?