The brutal robbery at Village Mall, a luxury shopping mall in the west of the city, looked more like an action movie. Twelve armed criminals on six motorbikes arrived and stormed the building with great fanfare. They shouted it was a burglary and held customers and store employees at gunpoint. Some were even used as live shields so thieves could loot a jewelry store without police intervention.
According to a number of Brazilian media, who spoke to eyewitnesses, dozens of shots were fired between the thieves and the police. A 49-year-old guard was shot in the face and died at the scene. It was also said that one of the robbers was shot dead by police in the street. Several others were injured. Severe panic prevailed in the shopping center, according to the statements of eyewitnesses.
We were in a shop near the goldsmith when the saleswoman suddenly ran away. She started screaming that a bullet had been fired, and then we ran away too. “We have found a safe way out,” eyewitness Luisa told Brazilian media. “I heard a lot of gunshots. I am in the Apple Store with another group of people. We are waiting for more information to come out,” another witness said at the time of the theft. Another customer said he got into a gunfight. “I am now hiding in a restaurant “.
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In front of the camera, the reaction of a Dutch tourist was visibly confused. This was my first day in Brazil. “I was very scared,” said the man named Ricardo. “I’ve never seen anything like this in Europe.” Brazilian police reported that the thieves stole an unknown amount of jewelry and jewelry. During their trip, they stole another motorcycle from a customer in the mall. “I went out to take myself to safety. Then I saw that they took my motorbike,” says the motorcyclist. “There were a lot of shots, people were running, some people were being held hostage. We were so scared. The worst could have happened to us. It was a very rough moment.”
Village Mall is a luxury shopping mall in Barra da Tijuca, a popular residential area in western Rio de Janeiro. Opened in December 2012, the store houses over 90 stores, including international brands and big names in national retail. In a statement, the Village Mall board of directors expressed their regret over what happened. “The mall says it is working with the competent authorities to clarify the facts,” he added.
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