Man abducts daughter, steals plane and crashes on mall in Brazil
A man suspected of having raped a teenage girl caused a tragedy in Brazil, when he attacked his wife, abducted his 5-year-old daughter in a stolen airplane and crashed on the parking lot of a shopping mall, dpa reported.
The crash Thursday at the shopping mall in the city of Goiania, near Brasilia, initially put the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) on alert, thinking it was a terrorist attack similar to that perpetrated on September 11, 2001 in the United States.
The man and his child died in the crash of the single-engine plane.
Police chief Jorge Moreira said that the man's erratic behaviour in the air indicated he did intend to hurt people on the ground. But none of the 5,000 people at the Flamboyant mall at the time of the crash was hurt.
In an official statement, the FAB said it deployed a Mirage-2000 fighter-plane to protect security areas in Brasilia and then sent a Tucano plane in an effort to intercept the machine that had been stolen from an aeroclub in Luziania, 56 kilometres away from Brazil's federal capital.
Police in the state of Goias were investigating whether the father crashed the plane on purpose or it fell to the ground due to a lack of fuel.
Preliminary reports say the man forced his wife and daughter to go with him for a drive. On the road to the Luziania aeroclub, he beat up his wife and threw her out of the car.
Then, he made as if he was renting the plane with a pilot, saying he wanted to fly over Brasilia with his daughter, only to then attack the pilot and steal the machine.
Before the fatal crash, the man performed acrobatics several times over densely-populated areas, which according to Moreira indicated his intention of a random attack on human life.
"He hijacked the plane with the clear intention of causing a tragedy. He was not planning to throw flowers. He directly aimed the plane at the shopping mall," Moreira said.