Brazilian media outlets reported a hostage situation at 5:30 am on Tuesday, saying that a masked man had hurled a burning object out of a bus with 37 passengers onboard on the Rio-Niterói Bridge, connecting the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói.
Here's what is known about the standoff so far:
- The hijacker, armed with a knife and what is believed to have been a toy gun, reportedly identified himself as a military police officer, which has yet to be confirmed.
- His identity has not been officially revealed yet, but according to UOL, the suspect's name is William Augusto da Silva; he was born in 1999.
- He was fatally shot by a sniper following the four-hour long standoff.
- The man did not make any demands and appeared to have "psychological problems", according to a spokesperson for the traffic police, quoted by TV Globo.
- One of the hostages on board, Hans Moreno, claimed that the perpetrator's behaviour was not aggressive, rather he was "very calm".
- Six of the 37 hostages were released in the first few hours, with law enforcement saying that the hijacker had threatened to set the vehicle on fire after spilling gasoline in the bus.
- Rio de Janeiro's elite police force, known as BOPE, was in charge of the hours-long negotiations with the man, whose motives remain unknown.
- The city's governor, Wilson Witzel, took to Twitter to announce that the hostages had been freed and that none of them was hurt. He heaped praise on the police for their "exemplary performance", while confirming that the hijacker had been killed.