Bus hijacker shot dead by police in Brazil
Dozens of passengers were held hostage on the bus for over three hours.
Military police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have shot and killed a man who hijacked a commuter bus in the city and took 31 people hostage in the process.
Following a tense standoff on Tuesday morning - approximately 9.30am Irish time - Brazilian police "neutralised" the hijacker after surrounding the bus on a bridge that links Rio to the city of Niterói.
A tweet issued by military police confirms that a sniper shot the man and that no hostages were harmed during the incident.
At least six hostages had been freed by the attacker prior to his death.
"The PMERJ [Miltary Police of Rio de Janeiro State] informs that the occurrence with hostages was terminated at Ponte Rio-Niterói," begins the statement.
"The hostage taker was neutralised by a sniper of the BOPE [Tactical Unit of Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State] and all the hostages were released unharmed."
A #PMERJ informa que foi encerrada a ocorrência com reféns, na Ponte Rio-Niterói. O Tomador de Refém foi neutralizado por um atirador de precisão do #BOPE e todos os reféns foram libertados ilesos.#PMERJ #AoLadoDaPopulação #SempreAtuante #ServireProteger pic.twitter.com/US383ZOAVs
— PMERJ (@PMERJ) August 20, 2019
According to BBC News, military police spokesperson Col. Mauro Fleiss explained that the sniper opened fire when the hijacker appeared at the door of the bus, appearing to point a weapon at the head of one of the hostages.
Fleiss added that the weapon in question turned out to be a toy gun.
"This is the police force we want to see," said Fleiss.
"The sniper shot was necessary to neutralise the outlaw and to save the people on the bus."