Brazilian model is shot dead by police in California forest after ex-boyfriend reports fight
A Brazilian model was shot dead by police in a California forest after her former boyfriend called authorities to report a fight.
Gleise Graciela Firmiano, a 30-year-old who had been working in California for the last eight years, was shot on 30 January in San Bernardino County.
Firmiano lived with her former partner, a US Navy serviceman who has not been named, despite their break up several months ago, Jam Press reports.
The ex-boyfriend called police on the day of her death to report that they had gotten into a fight. He said Firmiano had left the house with a gun and the couple’s dog.
Police tracked Firmiano’s car to the Maple Hill Trails nature spot and found her standing next to a tree with her dog.
When officers approached, she put her hand on her gun and the officers opened fire, according to the police.
A spokesperson for San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department told Jam Press: “Life saving measures were immediately administered by the deputies.
“Medical aid responded and, despite life saving measures, the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
Her sister Cleane Firmiano told Brazilian media: “According to the police, she had a fight with her boyfriend, took the car and the dog, and left the house armed.
“When the police arrived, she put her hand on the gun and the cops fired. That was the officer reported on the phone.
The sister called the victim’s American ex-boyfriend to get more information: “I asked him why he called the police.
“He said he was afraid she’d do something stupid.”
Last month, police spokeswoman Gloria Huerta said: “At this point in the investigation, investigators do not believe the suspect fired at the deputies.”
Over a month since the model’s death, her body still remains in California and family members are desperate to lay her to rest in their home country.
A spokesperson for the Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles said they are offering support to the victim’s family, but pointed out there are no budgetary provisions that will pay for the transfer of the body with public funds.
Firmiano’s sister said they have contacted the Brazilian government for financial assistance to resolve the matter, but received no reply so far.
Meanwhile, the heartbroken family is also waiting for further clarification from the Californian authorities regarding the ongoing internal investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
According to Firmiano’s sister, the victim was planning to return to Brazil next month to open modelling agencies in Aracaju and Rio de Janeiro, cities where she lived before leaving the country.
She added: “Her bags were already packed to come back.”
Born in Alagoas State, Firmiano was the fourth of 11 children.
The Sheriff Office’s Specialized Investigations Division is carrying out the ongoing investigation into her death.