After a 20-day cinematic escape that involved around 300 police officers from two Brazilian states, fugitive Lazaro Barbosa de Sousa, 32, the confessed murderer of five, was killed on Monday.
Goias’s governor Ronaldo Caiado said the man was found in a rural area, in a region of stream, within the forest.
De Sousa was killed after resisting arrest, according to Alexandre Ramagem, Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Abin) director. He was shot and succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital. De Sousa’s death was confirmed by the Civil Police, which did not reveal further details about his arrest and death.
Goias' Public Security Secretary Rodney Miranda said that De Sousa "unloaded the pistol" against police officers. "We had no choice but to fight back," he said.
The man was under investigation for more than 30 crimes and for the death of four people from the same family, including two children, in Ceilandia, a city of 500,000 in the Federal District, and of a farm worker in Goias’ district of Girassol.
De Sousa was convicted for murder in the State of Bahia, and was also wanted for crimes of robbery, rape and illegal possession of a firearm.
The searches involved Goias’ and the Federal District’s both Civil and Military Police, Federal Police, Federal Highway Police, Federal District Penitentiary Directorate’s Special Operations Department and the Military Fire Department. Officials came close to de Sousa on different occasions, with the criminal taking a family hostage on one of them and later located on a farm, but managed to escape both times.
Images on social media show officers celebrating the arrest after taking a wounded and bleeding de Sousa to a Fire Department ambulance from a police car.
Information about the capture was initially disclosed by Goias’ governor Ronaldo Caiado. In a Twitter video, Caiado said, “Goiás is not a bandit’s Disneyland”.
The governor had not yet confirmed de Sousa’s death. Speaking to journalists after the arrest, he said investigations show “there was protection from some people, not only in the rural sector, but in [Goias’] city of Cocalzinho”. According to him, those people could have provided de Sousa shelter and food.
Last week, a local farmer and an employee were arrested on charges of aiding the fugitive.
According to Caiado, de Sousa could have been a “hitman” or “a psychopath”.