Chances are, most people have been to a wedding where not everything went off without a hitch. Sure, there are plenty of weddings where everything goes perfectly, but these stories are few and far between.
Whether it’s the weather causing a major disruption in the plans or a drunk groomsman or bridesmaid making a pretty awful speech, anything can happen. But the wedding in the following story takes the cake…
The wedding of Jailton Barbosa, 25, and his bride Christina, 18, started out incredibly. The ceremony was held in the couple’s hometown of Brazil, where they were joined by their family and friends. Father Marlucio Luiz officiated the wedding as bridesmaids and flower girls walked down the aisle.
But their special day soon turned dreadful as wedding video captured a gunman following two members of the bridal party into the church. Barbosa was standing just inches away from the victims when the attack took place, while Christina was outside the church, awaiting her big entrance.
Barbosa told the Daily Mail: “In just a few terrible minutes, our lives were turned upside down by a madman who tried to murder our relatives in front of us.” “When the gunman opened fire, it was one of the most frightening and chaotic moments in our lives,” he said.
“My mind went into a whirl. I couldn’t get my head around what had just happened…I remember hearing the shots, grabbing hold of my mom and pulling her into a room and then rushing over to help those who were injured,” Barbosa added.
Meanwhile, Christina was rushed back into the bridal car and locked herself in for her safety. While the gunman was inside, he shot at three people. Barbosa said one of those wedding guests was his uncle. “I ran and cradled my uncle in my arms. He had been shot several times and I kept talking to him and trying to comfort him.”
Shooting Three Guests
Barbosa helped his uncle out of the church and into a car where he was rushed to the hospital. “I did the same for my cousin and his wife who had been grazed on her arm by a bullet,” Barbosa said. Cicero Barbosa da Silva, 62, his son Edmilson Bezerra da Silva, 37, and Edmilson’s wife, were among those shot.
Going Ahead With The Wedding
Everyone at the wedding was shaken up and Barbosa and Christina were given drugs by a medic in order to help them calm down while they waited for updates regarding their family members. After they received news that all three would survive, they decided to go ahead with the ceremony, two hours late.
“Our thoughts were with our relatives. But when we heard the injuries were not life-threatening we felt we should go ahead. Barbosa explained that he and his fiance had planned their wedding day for over a year and they were so excited about the celebration.
Just like any engaged couple, they sorted out the arrangements for the ceremony, sent out the invitations and organized the reception afterward. “To cancel everything would have been like allowing evil to get the better of us. We were innocent in all of this and just wanted to get on with our lives,” Barbosa said.
Christina admitted that after the incident it took all their courage to stand at the altar and say their vows as they were terrified the hitman would return. She said, “We are deeply disappointed we only have so few good memories and we find it hard to talk about our wedding day because it was so distressing.”
In the photos, the couple was smiling but their “hearts were aching.” “We’re just hoping the pain inflicted on our family will never happen again and one day the memory will no longer upset us.” However, no matter what they do, they cannot change what happened.
Calmly Shooting The Guests
“We can’t stop people from remembering our wedding as the one where the gunman just walked in and calmly shot our guests,” Christina said. “We hope with time, people will understand that our decision to go ahead was our way of trying to make the best of a bad deal.”
Gunman On The Loose
“At the time, we didn’t know why he did it and we couldn’t be sure he wasn’t coming back. But I said to Jailton let’s get married because someone like that has no right to destroy our dreams,” Christina told the Daily Mail. “What we are determined to do now is to make sure this horrific incident doesn’t define our marriage.”
Christina said that the day started off “with wickedness and anger but our marriage is full of love and happiness.” During the ceremony, Father Luiz said that he had to remain calm and focused for the sake of the couple.
Asking God For Strength
“I asked them if they still wanted to hold the ceremony after the shooting,” Luiz said. “Once they had taken a soothing remedy they said they did and we asked God for the strength to continue. In the end, everything went as best as it could.”
But after the news spread that the gunman was still on the loose, around half of the couple’s 300 guests did not show up for the wedding party. “The hall was practically empty and so much food was wasted. I cried a bit from disappointment and frustration,” admitted Christina.
According to Detective Gustavo Xavier, the accused man was Humberto Ferreira Santos, 52. He gave himself up three days after the wedding saying he intended to avenge the death of his son, known as Caca, and his 85-year-old father.
Both had been killed in a double homicide two years earlier, and Santos claimed the men he shot were responsible for their deaths. Santos, who once stood for election as a government official, told police his one regret was committing the crime inside the church.
According to Detective Xavier, Santos said in a confession, “I didn’t want to do this. I acted on impulse. I believed the men I shot killed my son and father…I tried to get these people arrested but no one would listen to me. I felt that I had fought so hard for justice and got nowhere that I no longer had any choice but to take matters into my own hands.”
Since the shooting, both Edmilson and Cicero underwent surgery and have since been discharged from the Agreste Accident and Emergency unit. Edmilson’s wife who was sitting next to the men and asked not to be named wounded her arm and was released following treatment. As for Santos, he is in custody in the Casa de Custodia jail in Maceio.