A would-be robber in Brazil who thought a couple of Mormon missionaries would be easy targets earlier this month quickly learned he was wrong after one of the missionaries wrestled the robber’s gun away from him.
The encounter was captured on surveillance video and showed the two missionaries standing on a sidewalk near two more people when two men on a motorcycle drive up. One man jumped off of the motorcycle and approached the group with a gun, apparently announcing a robbery.
But as the suspect neared the missionaries, one fought back and grabbed the gun away from the robber. Moments later, the motorcycle driver engaged the missionary, as the first suspect quietly slipped away from the chaos, leaving his comrade behind.
The missionary, who was not publicly identified, briefly aimed the gun at the suspect, then tossed it over a tall fence and out of reach.
The fight between the two continued and spilled into the street. The missionary repeatedly punched the suspect, who tried to fight back, though not very well. Eventually, the second suspect ran away too.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints indicated that the missionary acted appropriately and spokesman Eric Hawkins said the church is glad the incident did not end tragically.
“The guidance given to missionaries is to avoid conflict,” Hawkins added. “Every situation is unique, and as adults, missionaries must make decisions about their safety. In this case, the assailant had a weapon and the missionary reacted in the moment to protect his life and that of his companion.”