It appeared to be a normal afternoon for one off-duty police officer, attending an event at her children’s school. However, while the mother of two was with her children outside the school, they were confronted by a gunman, who appeared to be targeting the kids. That’s when the “cop mom” delivered “swift justice.”
A mother’s military police training suddenly kicked in when a gunman rushed at her and a group of parents as they waited with their kids at school. Off-duty military police officer Katia da Silva Sastre was standing near a group of women and children on the street corner outside a Sao Paulo private school in Brazil when the gunman, later identified as 21-year-old Elivelton Neves Moreira, attempted to rob them at gunpoint.
Little did the gunman know, Sastre was carrying a pistol of her own. The dramatic security footage shows Sastre watching the gunman as he approached the kids and pointed a weapon, and that’s when she reportedly drew her pistol and shot him three times in the chest. While approaching the wounded assailant and still pointing her gun, she threw her bag to one side, ordered the suspect to turn over, pushed him with her foot into a facedown position, pinned him down, and waited for medical help and backup to arrive.
The mother spoke about the harrowing event. “I had to act quickly to end his aggression and prevent him from harming anyone,” Katia da Silva Sastre said. “I reverted to the training I have received [as a military police officer.] It’s gratifying to have been in the right place to have saved all our lives.” Sastre had been on the police force for over 20 years. She is also married to a military police lieutenant.
According to the Daily Mail, although the suspect died later the same day in the hospital from his injuries, Sastre was commended for her courage and bravery. “I didn’t know if he was going to shoot the kids or the mothers or the security guard at the school door,” Sastre said. “I just thought about defending the moms, the children, my own life, and my daughters.”
Police Lieutenant André Alves, who is the husband of Sastre, revealed how this situation could have turned out differently. “The [gunman’s] first shot ricocheted and got lost,” he said. “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.”
Sao Paulo Governor Marcio Franca visited Sastre at her police station and honored her for the act of bravery. “I went earlier to the 4th BAEP in the east of Sao Paulo to honor a very special mother: Corporal Katia Sastre. Her courage and precision saved mothers and children, yesterday at the door of a school,” Franca wrote on Twitter.
The “cop mom” was also praised by the Brazilian government. “She pushed the children out of the way and approached the thief. She shoots, the boy shoots, the boy tries to shoot at her leg,” Brazilian public security secretary Maggie Alves said. “She immobilizes the boy and calls the [emergency services]. It was a perfect procedure from a technical point of view.”
However, Governor França lamented the outcome. “It is not ideal that the suspect died,” he 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.”
According to The Mirror, “Ms. Sastre, a mother of two girls aged seven and two, later decided to run for Congress in the country’s elections, where Brazilians also cast their votes for president and state governors. Using the name Policewoman Katia Sastre on ballot papers, she was the seventh most voted candidate, out of 70, in the whole of the Sao Paulo state.”
Katia da Silva Sastre controversially used footage of her shooting the assailant in her official election campaign video, declaring, “I shot him, and I would shoot again.” She added, “I will always have the same attitude in fighting crime. I have courage.” Although the governor of Sao Paulo “lamented” the outcome of the shooting, it appears the Brazilian people appreciated the mother of two’s split-second judgment, and had no problems with her revealing she would do it again.