Policeman blinded by bullet in house raid

A POLICE raid on a property in the village of Sobral de Monte Agraço, Vila Franca de Xira (above Lisbon), ended in tragedy on Monday of this week, when a member of the local GNR’s criminal investigation unit was shot in the face, leaving him blinded in his left eye and fighting for his life.  

The incident took place when, armed with a search warrant, police stormed the property of Manuel Cardoso, the father of a 20-year-old man recently arrested in connection with a series of robberies. The police had been trying to locate items, allegedly stolen by the son André Cardoso and which were believed to be stored at the residence.

When the father, 54 years of age, opened the door, he spoke to the police for a while before allegedly suddenly grabbing a large shotgun and proceeding to fire shots at the GNR officers.

Officer João Ferreira, aged 26 and a father of a 21-day-old baby daughter, was seriously wounded to the left side of his face and was transported to hospital by the local bombeiros. He has been blinded in the left eye and risks permanent damage to his brain. He remains in hospital fighting for his life.

At the time of going to press, Manuel Cardoso had barricaded himself in his home and was refusing to come out or speak to the police. His mobile phone was turned off and his home phone was disconnected. The siege was still continuing with heavy security surrounding the area. All roads to the village have been blocked and residents are forbidden to leave the area.  

Manuel Cardoso has a substantial criminal record, having already served a 15-year prison sentence for the murder of his uncle. He is separated from his wife and has been living at the house with his son.