This is the shocking moment two plain-clothed policemen were left writhing in agony in a pool of blood after a misunderstanding led to a shoot-out between them.
In a frightening case of mistaken identity, a civilian police officer mistook a military policeman for a robber and confronted him in a pharmacy in Fortaleza, north east Brazil.
Olívio Gabriel Torres, who works as a crime investigator, was hit in the face and military police officer, Edilson Barreto da Silva, who patrols the streets, suffered bullet wounds to his thigh and abdomen.
Security camera footage from inside the pharmacy on Wednesday shows the two men fighting before Torres pulled his gun.
Silva, who was off-duty at the time, was seen standing at the counter as he prepared to pay for medication at the start of the video.
According to witnesses, Torres was walking past the store when he noticed Silva was armed and ‘seemed to be acting suspiciously’.
Moments later security cameras recorded Torres entering, pulling his gun and striding up as he points his revolver at Silva’s back.
The horrific encounter sees Silva reacting with surprise as the detective approaches from behind and orders him to ‘lift up his T-shirt’.
Silva tried to grab his gun from his waistband as Torres pushed him and started to shoot, the footage showed.
The military cop retaliated and multiple bullets are fired at close range between the agents who were both in plain clothes.
Witnesses said at least 10 bullets were fired, many hitting walls on buildings opposite the pharmacy.
No one else was injured during the incident. Staff in the pharmacy were said to be in a state of shock and cowered behind the counters.
In the struggle, the officers fell to the ground as they continued the firefight.
Silva was shot in the thigh suffering a severed femoral vein and a wound to his abdomen. Torres was injured in his face.
A witness who declined to be identified said: ‘Even though the man was shouting that he is a military police, the civilian police officer kept shooting and held the other man down on the ground. I was standing nearby and I couldn’t understand why this had happened. It was terrifying.’
Security guards from nearby stores are said to have rushed to the scene and taken the guns from the men.
According to investigator, Inspector Romerio Almeida, one of the officers was inside the pharmacy buying medicines when the other came in.
He said: ‘Military police officer Silva was in civilian clothes, but with the gun in his waistband. Civil police officer Torres, who was also in plain clothes found his actions suspicious and thought he was trying to rob the shop. It appears to have been a regrettable misunderstanding as they both exchanged gunfire which resulted in severe injuries.’
In a statement, the Department of Public Security and Social Defence said the incident was under investigation.
A spokesperson said: ‘The circumstances surrounding the exchange of gunfire between civilian police and military police are being investigated. Initial inquiries points to a misinterpretation involving the two security officers who were in plain clothes.’
Both men were taken to the Dr. José Frota Institute Hospital where doctors said their injuries were extremely serious. The agents underwent emergency surgery and no further information has been released concerning the state of their health.
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