The “stray” bullets that hit and killed a five-year-old girl as she stood outside her front door next to her toddler brother were fired by a police officer, it has emerged.
Ana Clara Machado, 5, was holding her favourite doll when she was shot dead outside her home in the community of Monan Pequeno in the neighbourhood of Pendotiba in the Brazilian municipality of Niteroi on 2nd February, according to her mum.
Ana Clara’s younger brother, 2, was by her side at the time and witnessed the killing.
A team of four police officers who were on patrol in the area at the time claimed Ana Clara was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout with a group of criminals who allegedly opened fire on the cops.
They reportedly rushed to the child’s help when they heard her family and neighbours’ screams for help.
However, the young victim’s relatives have since claimed that the officers only came to the girl’s assistance after “much insistence”.
Furthermore, according to mum Cristiane Gomes Silva, one officer said to another “you screwed up” when they saw the shot girl.
Ana Clara was taken to hospital, but died en route.
Cristiane told local media: “She died on my lap, inside the vehicle. When she arrived at the hospital, she was already in cardiac arrest, her heart was no longer beating.
“It was because the police officer dithered in wondering if he’d take her or not. My shot daughter was slumped on the ground. I shouted ‘grab my daughter, save my daughter!’
“The time came when he grabbed her and left, with her hanging so as to not get his uniform bloodied.”
The unnamed officer in question has since been arrested on suspicion of murder.
According to the officer in charge of the investigation, he has not confessed, but gave contradictory statements when being questioned.
His and his colleagues’ weapons were also seized.
Cristiane told local media: “There was no exchange of gunfire, as they claim there was.
“He’ll return home, he’ll see his son, he’ll see his wife, he’ll see his grandchildren, he’ll have his family. And mine? My daughter, will she return?”
Ana Clara was buried at the Sao Francisco Xavier Cemetery in Niteroi on 3rd February. Before the funeral, a protest took place demanding justice for the young girl.
One of the placards held by a protester read: “When a mum cries, we all cry.”
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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