Lagos hostage-taker gunman appears in court “smiling”

António Duarte, the man who plunged Lagos into an eight-hour hostage drama earlier this week, has appeared in court, flanked by police.

Facing multiple accusations following the shooting in the head of a PSP agent and the barricading of himself and three others into the commission for the protection of children and minors (CPCJ), Duarte was interrogated by a judge for more than three hours, writes Correio da Manhã, before being led back to police cells.

Today (Thursday) he should learn what kind of pre-trial conditions will be set.

“Owing to the man’s psychological instability and the potential for danger to the public,” Duarte was accompanied to court by “a strong police presence, as well as members of rapid intervention teams”, added CM.

Police commander Viola Silva told a press conference after the siege that Duarte had been found in possession of a veritable arsenal of weaponry, including a sawn-off shotgun, a pistol, a field knife and ammunition.

Since giving himself up, more details of the tense stand-off on Monday have been revealed. The conversation with his estranged children that the unemployed builder had insisted as one of his conditions to releasing his hostages and giving himself up did not go well. The 40-year-old’s youngest child, a 14-year-old boy, is understood to have told his father that he never wanted to speak to him again.

CM writes that Duarte was “devastated”, and the police negotiating team then began to “fear the worst”.

It was at this point that they considered sending in Special Ops – armed police that had been stationed round the building all morning.

As Viola Silva repeatedly stressed in his press conference on Monday, it was just “lucky” that the drama ended the way it did.

A PSP agent injured after a shot Duarte fired nicked his head is understood to have made a complete recovery.

Duarte’s charges, yet to be finalised, are expected to involve the crimes of attempted murder and kidnapping.

The father-of-two has a record for domestic violence, and his children and former partner are living in a safe house under the protection of victims support association APAV.

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