SAO PAULO — A violent drama played out on the steps of the Sao Paulo Cathedral, in Brazil’s largest city, last Friday
afternoon, when a hunted criminal took a woman hostage in an attempt to evade capture by police.
49-year-old Luiz Antonio da Silva had just finished a 22-year stint in prison, when he again ran afoul of the cops. After 20
minutes praying in the church with this 25-year-old woman, he attempted to use her as a human shield to avoid police.
When da Silva exited the church, the woman caught a cop’s attention, so da Silva fired at him. At the familiar sound of
gunfire, a crowd of pedestrians gather at the scene, showing how inured to violence people in Sao Paulo have become.
But out of the gawking crowd, only a 61-year-old homeless man named Francisco Erasmo Rodrigues de Lima took it upon
himself to do something.
While police held the gunman’s attention, de Lima snuck around a parked truck and up the steps. Then de Lima crept all
the way up to the gunman and dove on him, freeing the hostage.
It’s at this point that perceptions diverge. The men fight and da Silva and the police both start shooting. In a moment, both
men will be dead. Police say that after the old vagrant knocked da Silva onto the ground, the gunman fired several shots
into de Lima’s chest. Yet others say da Silva missed, and it was a police bullet that killed the brave man.
Whichever the case, the last incredible act shown on the video is members of the Sao Paulo police disregarding de Lima as
he bleeds to death, alone, in the church doorway.
A homeless friend of Francisco Erasmo Rodrigues de Lima said the 61 year old father of four often stepped up to intervene
in fights. He had lived on the streets for 10 years before he died. De Lima was buried north of Sao Paulo following a small
ceremony with his estranged wife and two children in attendance.- TOMO News.