Homeless Man Hailed As Hero After Sacrificing Life To Save A Hostage

Jessica Renae Buxbaum
A local homeless man is being hailed as a hero after he sacrificed his life saving a hostage in Brazil. He is being honored on social media with an outpouring of thanks.

A local homeless man is being hailed as a hero after he sacrificed his life saving a hostage in Brazil.

On Sept. 4, Elenilza Mariana de Oliveira was praying inside a São Paulo Cathedral in Brazil when she was taken hostage by convicted felon Luiz Antonio da Silva. He had recently served 22 years in prison for theft, robbery, drug trafficking and assault.

Da Silva took de Oliveira outside and held her at gunpoint on the steps of the cathedral. But the crime was stopped when  Erasmo Francisco Rodriguez da Lima, a 61-year-old homeless man, tackled da Silva, allowingg de Oliveira to escape and police to shoot da Silva, who later died.

During the struggle da Lima was shot twice by the gunman in the chest. He died on the steps of the cathedral.

*Warning: video below is graphic.

De Oliveira, who was injured during the attack, received medical attention at the scene, according authorities. When speaking to press, she said of da Lima’s bravery, “It was a heroic act…he gave his life for me.”

Following the attack, social media ignited in an outpouring of support and gratitude for the homeless hero.

"This homeless man that died in São Paulo deserves all the respect. Hero of the year!"

"I feel pain in my heart every time I remember that homeless man that died saving the life of a woman."

The appreciation and respect shown for da Lima stands in stark contrast to how the homeless are usually treated by society: with disdain, disgust and contempt. The heroic story serves as a necessary reminder that the homeless are not only humans too (as is too often forgotten or downright ignored by society), but that they are capable of compassion for their fellow citizens and deserving of that same compassion from humanity as well. 

Read more: Watch Shopkeepers Band Together To Chase Down Knife-Wielding Robbers

Banner photo credit: Twitter: @Riefs68