"I just thought about defending the moms, the children, my own life and my daughter's."
While waiting for a mother’s day party to begin at an elementary school in Sao Paulo, Katia da Silva Sastre, her seven-year-old daughter, and other parents and children were approached by an unknown man. Wearing shorts and a hooded sweatshirt, he walked towards them with a pistol in his right hand.
They scrambled for safety as the man, identified by theWashington Post as 21-year-old Eliventon Neves Moreira, kept the gun pointed in their direction.
But Sastre, a cop who was off-duty, emerged from the group and shot Moreira at point-blank range. Sastre fired three times, hitting Moreira in the chest and leg. She kept her gun on the man, even as he fell to his knees in the street. She kicked the gun away and picked it up, then put her foot on him to keep him down until police arrived.
Moreira was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Moreira fired at least once, with the first shot ricochetting off something. On his second shot, the gun jammed, reported the local newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
“I didn’t know if he was going to shoot the kids or the mothers or the security guard at the school door,” said the 42-year-old Sastre, a 20-year veteran of law enforcement. “I just thought about defending the moms, the children, my own life and my daughter’s.”
On May 13, 2018, the governor of Sao Paulo, Marcio Franca, gave Sastre a bouquet of orchids and thanked her for her heroism, saying her “courage and precision saved mothers and children.” He said Sastre “intervened against a young man who assaulted kids and their families with a gun” and that “She was off duty and she didn’t have to do it.”
“It is not ideal that the suspect died,” the governor told reporters, “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.”
In the aftermath, Andre Alves, Sastre’s husband, told reporters, “She is calm, knowing that she acted correctly.” He also said, “Everything ended fine. It would have been a greater risk if the suspect had found out she was a cop first.”