The military policewoman, who has yet to be named, was walking by herself late Sunday night in the city of Sao Paulo when she was approached by a heavyset individual nearly twice her size.
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Surveillance footage shows the suspect, later identified as Francisco Gonsalves dos Santos Junior, parked his car on the dimly-lit street before getting out of the vehicle and rushing the policewoman while she attempted to cross the road.
Junior blocked the officer’s path and tried to grab her, but she dodged him and began to backpedal.
As Junior continues to advance, the officer pulled out her firearm and fired a single shot into his stomach, immediately dropping him to the pavement.
Junior was later declared dead at the scene.
Local authorities say the investigation is still ongoing, and have initially registered the incident as an attempted robbery. One commenter on Twitter praised the woman for her refusal “to be a victim.”
The shooting comes amid a contentious debate over gun violence in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. After the attack, New Zealand moved to pass strict gun control measures, an action praised by many gun control advocates in the U.S., such as progressive Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
However, critics of gun control argue that the measures will do little to stop criminals who have no interest in following the law to begin with. Instead — arguing the so-called “good guy with a gun theory” — allowing civilians to carry guns can help deter and prevent violence.
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