Two shot dead in confrontation between gangs and police

Two men have been shot dead during a violent confrontation between gangs and police investigating the death of a British mother who was shot in Rio de Janeiro. 

Officers are probing the shooting of tourist Eloise Dixon, from Bromley, south east London, and one man has been arrested, according to reports.

Mrs Dixon was shot by gangsters in Brazil after her husband mistakenly drove their car off the main road and into a favela.

Two police officers who came to her aid said her life was saved by her 13-year-old daughter Isabella, who stemmed the flow of blood with her hand as they waited for help.

Eloise Dixon was shot after her family took a wrong turn into a favela in Rio and ended up in gang territory

Eloise Dixon was shot after her family took a wrong turn into a favela in Rio and ended up in gang territory

Photographs show the blood stained seats of the car, after the mother-of-three was hit by one of the shower of bullets

Photographs show the blood stained seats of the car, after the mother-of-three was hit by one of the shower of bullets

Highway officers Douglas Barros, 43 and Marcus Alan, 40, were on duty, but weren't meant to take people to hospital

Highway officers Douglas Barros, 43 and Marcus Alan, 40, were on duty, but weren't meant to take people to hospital

And according to military police, officers were carrying out a high-profile search operation yesterday with sniffer dogs in the Sapinhatuba favela in Angra dos Reis, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, when they were met with gunfire.

Four men were hit during the shootout and two died from their injuries.

One of the wounded men was named as Fabricio Wesley Ferreira, also known as WL, and is said to be the drug boss in area.

The other injured criminal identified as Jackson Lima Ferreira, also known as JK, is alleged have been involved in the shooting of the British tourist last Sunday.

Mrs Dixon was hit by two bullets, one passed through her abdomen and the other grazed across her chest, when she was with her husband and three daughters in search for water.

The police operation took place in the Sapinhatuba community, which is seven miles away and some 14 minutes drive from the Agua Santa favela. 

Highway officers Douglas Barros, 43 and Marcus Alan, 40, were on duty at the police post near Angra dos Reis, a popular holiday resort, on Sunday afternoon when the family's car, driven by father Max, screeched to a halt on the road outside.

The policemen described the commotion as the family, who had been guided to the police station by a Brazilian woman on a motorbike, arrived 'in a state of panic', with their three young daughters screaming and sobbing in the back seat. 

They found 'gravely-injured' Eloise 'palid and unable to speak' in a pool of blood in the passenger seat, and said they knew the mother, a teaching assistant from Bromley, south east London, would not have lived more than another 30 minutes.

Despite not being authorised to transport injured people to hospital, PCs Douglas and Marcus said they made a split-second decision to put her in their police car rather than call an ambulance.

One of the highways officers points out the bullet holes in the car, which the family had been driving through Rio

One of the highways officers points out the bullet holes in the car, which the family had been driving through Rio

Mrs Dixon with her three daughters. Her eldest, Isabella, bravely stemmed the flow of blood from the wound with her hand

Mrs Dixon with her three daughters. Her eldest, Isabella, bravely stemmed the flow of blood from the wound with her hand

A bullet hole in the headrest shows how close the mother had been to being hit in the head during the terrifying ordeal

A bullet hole in the headrest shows how close the mother had been to being hit in the head during the terrifying ordeal

They explained: 'She deserved a chance to fight for her life. We didn't want her to die there in front of her children.' 

The officer said that when they lifted injured Mrs Dixon into the police vehicle, Isabella jumped next to her, pressing her hand on the bullet wound on her mother's stomach to help stop the bleeding.

PC Douglas, who drove the family to the nearest hospital in Angra dos Reis, said: 'She kept her hand firmly on her mother's stomach for the whole journey. She and the other girls were still crying, but she still kept calmly telling her mother to be strong and that she would make it. 

'The mother didn't say a word, she was drifting in and out of consciousness and the life was draining out of her. 

'The doctor later said that it was what the daughter did in putting pressure on the wound for all that time that saved her life. And she passed on real emotional security to her mother at that time, which made all the difference. 

'She was incredibly brave.' 

The family are said to be too scared about what happened to make an official statement to police, but have spoken informally to officers

The family are said to be too scared about what happened to make an official statement to police, but have spoken informally to officers

Officers examine the damaged car after the ordeal. The family had only been on holiday for four days when it happened

Officers examine the damaged car after the ordeal. The family had only been on holiday for four days when it happened

The family, who were on the fourth day of their holiday in Brazil, had rented a car in Rio de Janeiro and were driving down the coastal road towards Paraty, an historic coastal town 150 miles south. 

They were about half way there at 4.30pm when the couple's daughters Isabella, 13, Holly, eight and Alice, seven, said they wanted to go to the toilet and stopped to ask locals for directions to where they could find facilities and a place to buy water. 

But perhaps because of a language mix-up they were directed into a nearby favela shanty town controlled by dangerous drugs gangsters from Rio's notorious Third Command cartel. 

According to what Mr Dixon informally told PC Douglas – the family are reportedly too scared to make a formal statement – after turning in to the favela two armed men suddenly appeared on either side of the vehicle, which had

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