An armed man who took dozens of people hostage on a highway in Brazil was shot dead by police in an early morning standoff that lasted four hours, according to reports.
Fortunately, the hostages were all freed unharmed, according to Bloomberg.
The incident began at 5:30 AM on Tuesday morning when police were called about a man who had a knife and a gun on a bridge linking a suburb to downtown Rio.
During the standoff, the man splashed gasoline inside the bus and threatened to set the vehicle on fire.
The attacker claimed he was himself a police officer and according to witnesses he acted very calm during the standoff. That claim has not been substantiated.
A man is holding dozens of people hostage on a bus in Rio de Janeiro, and is threatening to set it alight
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 20, 2019
“I want to thank the police for its work,” said Rio’s state Gov. Wilson Witzel, adding that the incident “is happening in communities. They have rifles in the communities, terrorizing the communities.”
The suburb, Sao Gonçalo, is a poor area separated from the rest of Rio by Guanabara Bay. The suburb is beset by gang violence.
The wife of one of the freed hostages tells local media, "normally they just steal your wallet and phone, but this type of thing never happens".
Between January & April 2019, there were 5,800 robberies targeting buses in Rio de Janeiro state – one every 30 minutes. pic.twitter.com/YL1EYKjcm7
— Tom Kavanagh (@_TomKavanagh) August 20, 2019
#Brazil – Hostage situation reported after armed suspect boarded Viação Galo Branco bus on BR-101 Rio-Niterói Bridge in Rio de Janeiro. Bus moved to block all lanes on the bridge and a major police operation has been launched pic.twitter.com/xUKXqdCVUp
— Dilsedesh Supports AIIMS (@Dilsedesh) August 20, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.Don't forget to Like Godfather Politics on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com on Instagram.