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Police Kill Toy Gun Robber and Hostage

June 22, 2002

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ A police officer shot and killed two women in southeastern Brazil, one of whom had been taken hostage by the other with a toy gun, authorities said.

The unidentified assailant robbed a passer-by late Thursday night in a suburb of Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais state. The robber stole a cellular phone and a small amount of cash before fleeing, police said Friday.

Police officer Marcio Rigo chased the robber who then took another passer-by hostage with what turned out to be a toy gun, police said.

Rigo, without realizing the gun was fake, then shot both the robber and the would-be hostage. Both women died on the spot. Neither was identified, police Sgt. Marcus Fagundes said.

Rigo taken into custody by other policemen who witnessed the incident. The shooting is under investigation.

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