Details of the negotiation of the kidnapping of a 7-year-old child and a young man, 23, were passed on by the Military Police (PM) this Thursday afternoon (22). The operation ended with Leandro Mendes, 39, shot by a sniper. His health was serious until tonight.
The negotiations took more than 15 hours in the Parque São Pedro neighborhood, in the northern region of Belo Horizonte. According to Colonel Ricardo Geraldo de Oliveira Viana, from the Specialized Policing Command (CPE), the first mission was to save all lives, even the kidnapper’s.
During the entire period of the operation, the police tried to convince Mendes to release the victims, however he did not accept the conditions presented. He was awake the whole time. According to Ricardo, at the beginning of the night, the police had “quiet opportunities” to shoot, but the team analyzed that “it was not the time”.
In the negotiations, Mendes “requested situations that compromised the lives of the hostages and his ex-wife. “The Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) did not respond to requests. His intention was to teach his ex a lesson. He said that all the time: that he wanted to teach her a lesson,” said the CPE colonel.
The morning was the most delicate part of the operation, as, according to the soldier, Mendes became more “radical, excited and nervous”. “He said that he would give Bope some time to make the requests, that he would kill everyone, including him”. At one point, the kidnapper appeared with the child in his arms. “With the gun pointed at the child’s head,” he recalled.
The activation of the sniper was necessary in the face of refusals and the worsening of the possibility of homicides and suicide. “Tactical alternatives and negotiations were not enough. Hence, only the commitment shot [tiro de sniper] it would be effective. After the shot was fired, he received immediate medical attention.”
The assessment of the police authorities is that the operation was a success, since everyone was left alive. It was also informed that the child received psychological care from the PM.