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Father of murdered child forgives killer in emotional statement

Bruno Bride, father of a 5-year-old killed in an attack in Brazil

O Município Blumenau | YouTube (Captura de Tela)

Bruno Bride Amaral, father of 5-year-old victim Bernardo

Francisco Veneto - published on 04/28/23

“I’m going to honor my son’s memory every day.”

Bruno Bride Amaral’s powerful words were widely shared on social networks, and it’s no surprise given how powerful they are. Bruno is the father of Bernardo, a 5-year-old boy who was one of four children aged 4 to 7 savagely killed (along with another five who were injured) by a hatchet-wielding intruder at the Good Shepherd’s Corner kindergarten on April 5 in Blumenau, a city in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

Bruno, who is in the Brazilian Navy, spoke to reporter in a calm voice, full of pain:

There are some people who don’t accept this situation. It’s normal. Some are wishing the worst for the person who attacked our sons and daughters, the children. I don’t judge them. But I, in my feelings, as a person, cannot allow myself as a Christian (to do that). Following the values that Christ taught me, I pardon that person’s life. I don’t know him, I never saw him, I don’t know who he is. But I, as a Christian, ask God to comfort my heart to deal with this situation. And I’m going to honor my son’s memory every day. And may God comfort the hearts of all the families.

I could say anything here, but it won’t alleviate anyone’s pain. But I, with my values, as a Christian, as a soldier, am going to fight against every obstacle, with all my strength, to continue in the Lord’s path. And I thank God for all the moments I lived with my son. So, starting today, I will honor his memory in my heart. And may God comfort the heart of each person who is here in this situation, of everyone, because only those who are experiencing this drama in their own skin know what it’s like. So, may God give us the grace to go on.

The 25-year-old male suspect turned himself in to the police and is in custody. His motives are unknown; the BBC reports that he has no known connections to the school or the children, who were apparently attacked at random. According to Brazilian news outlet Estadão, the suspect had already had four run-ins with the police.

Here is a video of part of Bruno’s statement. Even if you don’t speak Portuguese, you can hear his sorrow and the strength of his faith in his voice.

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