Heroic Homeless Man Gave His Life To Save A Woman Being Held Hostage

Many walk by homeless people every single day without giving them a moment of thought, and when the homeless ask others for help, they're frequently ignored.

But in spite of all this, a 61-year-old homeless man in Brazil refused to stand idly by when a gunman took a woman hostage.

In the process, the man gave his own life.

His name was Francisco Erasmo Rodrigues de Lima.

This act of fatal heroism took place on the steps of the famous São Paolo Cathedral, and the entire incident was caught on film.

As the gunman held the woman hostage, Francisco bravely tackled and cornered the gunman, allowing the victim to run away. Francisco was shot twice during the encounter, and he tragically succumbed to his wounds not long after.

The gunman was 49-year-old Luiz Antonio da Silva, International Business Times reports. He allegedly served 22 years in jail for theft, property damage and inflicting bodily harm.

After shooting Francisco, the gunman was shot, wounded and arrested by police.

According to witnesses, the gunman and the woman were praying in the church for around 20 minutes before he took her hostage. The entire situation was reportedly a robbery gone awry.

Had Francisco not intervened, the situation could've turned out far differently for the woman. His selfless act reportedly inspired thousands of people to request he receive a decent burial and be publicly honored.

Francisco is a testament to the fact it takes only one person to make a difference -- something we would all do well to remember when encountering people in need.

Watch the video of the incident below.

Citations: Sao Paulo Cathedral Shooting: 61-Year-Old Homeless Man Dies Fighting Gunman to Save Woman [GRAPHIC VIDEO] (International Business Times)