UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Police shot dead a man holding 31 passengers aboard a bus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, killing him, a spokesman said four hours after the start of hostage-taking on a bridge connecting Rio is situated in the nearby Niteroi.
“It was necessary to shoot” the man “in order to confront him and rescue those on the bus,” Colonel Mauro Fleis told Globo television.
The spokesman explained that 31 people were on the bus and not 16 as previously reported.
The man, who was not identified when he heard the shooting, was being negotiated by police, prompting the crowd to clap.
The hostage-taking began at around 5:30 pm (0830 GMT), and at least six hostages were released from the bus during that time, heading to ambulances.
Several policemen, including snipers, were on the scene.
The police spokesman confirmed that the hijacker was carrying a fake weapon.
It was not clear what the kidnapper’s demands or the nature of his motives, a young man wearing a white shirt and dark trousers, took his head out of the bus window for a short time.
“The top priority is to protect the hostages,” Rio de Janeiro governor Wilson Witzel wrote on Twitter before the kidnapper was killed.
Traffic on most of the overcrowded Rio-Niteroi bridge route was disrupted during the ongoing hostage-taking.
Hostage-taking by bus is relatively rare in Brazil.
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