A pregnant woman died this Tuesday afternoon (8th) after being shot during a shootout between military police and criminals in the Lins community, in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro. Interior designer Kathlen de Oliveira Romeu, 24, was taken to hospital, but died soon after.
According to the version of the Military Police, agents of the Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) in the region were shot at in a place known as Beco da 14. There was a confrontation and, “after the shooting stopped, the military found an injured woman”. Also according to the corporation, a rifle loader, 9mm caliber ammunition and “narcotic material to be accounted for” were seized.
The PM also stated that the place of death was preserved, the expertise was called and the Pacifying Police Coordination (CPP) will investigate the circumstances of what happened in parallel with the investigation by the Capital Homicide Police Station.
When contacted, the Civil Police informed that “witnesses will be heard and steps will be taken to clarify all the facts and identify where the shot that hit the victim came from.”
After the death, residents protested closing the Grajaú-Jacarepaguá Highway, which connects the west and north of Rio. They took banners with words like “Lins asks for peace” and set fire to objects. Military Police teams accompanied the act with the Fire Department and Comlurb (Municipal Urban Cleaning Company).
To the newspaper Voz das Comunidade, a resident identified as Érica told that Kathlen Romeu, who was black, did not live in the favela and was going to visit relatives. “She was entering Cabuçu Street to visit her relatives, the police came in shooting,” she said.
“She was pregnant, she was a model. The police [sic] enters the favela like this, daily, shooting. They don’t care if there’s a resident, if there’s a child. We have no right to come and go. Not everyone in the favela is a criminal,” he criticized.
Kathlen was at least the 15th pregnant woman shot in the metropolitan region of Rio since 2017, according to the collaborative platform Fogo Cruzado, and eight of them died. Of the total, four were hit when police actions took place.
The young woman had been pregnant for about 14 weeks, as announced on social networks. “I’m discovering myself as a mother and I’m scared thinking about what it’s going to be like… I laugh, cry and I’m afraid. A mixture of feelings. Maybe the craziest in the world, but I’ll laugh right in front of it all… Thank you Lord for blessing my womb and allowing me to generate the love of my life!”, he wrote.
She identified herself as an interior designer and worked as a model and salesperson for the Farm clothing store. Her last post was a photo holding her belly, with the caption “Good morning, baby”. The baby would be called Maya or Zayon.