Footballer rescued by off-duty policemen during a gunfight

Footballer rescued by off-duty policemen during gunfight

Footballer rescued by off-duty policemen during gunfight Image: (@emerson_royal) • Instagram photos and videos

Footballer Emerson Royal was saved by an off-duty policeman in Americana just north of Sao Paolo in Brazil when an attempted mugging turned into a gunfight.

The Tottenham Hotspurs’ defender was taking photos with the officer outside a nightclub on Friday night when a thief drew a gun on him and tried to take his belongings.

According to Royal, the policeman came to his aid chasing the thief, with the two exchanging fire.

Writing on Instagram the Brazilian footballer said: “I will be forever grateful to you.

“God sends angels to earth, this is confirmed every day in my life. This human being, I call him an angel, risked his own life to save mine.”

According to local media, some 29 shots were exchanged with the policeman before the thief was wounded in the back. He was then apprehended and taken to hospital where he is receiving treatment but is not said to be in any danger.  

His Instagram story showed a photo taken with the officer moments before the attack, in the city of Americana to the north of São Paulo.

The incident took place around 3 am local time, with Emerson who is on holiday having been partying with friends and family at the New Trips nightclub.

Emerson Zulu, his father and also his agent, told the Globo Esporte newspaper: “The thief asked [Royal] for his watch and other personal objects.

“I was celebrating and on the way out, this whole affair happened, which was very bad,” the star’s father. A horror scene indeed. I don’t wish that on anyone.”

A gunfight is not uncommon in Brazil with the country recording more than 40,000 deaths annually, with muggings, gun related crime and gang violence commonplace.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at