A 61-year old homeless man in Brazil was hailed a hero after he sacrificed his life while fighting off a gunman who had taken a woman hostage outside the famous Sao Paulo Cathedral in Brazil.

A video of the tragic incident shot by a passerby has since gone viral. The over two-minute clip, which has widely been shared on the social media, shows a gun-toting man about to kill the woman he had taken hostage.

While it is unclear what relationship the gunman had with the hostage woman, eyewitnesses said the two were inside the church praying together for about 20 minutes before he dragged her to the steps of the cathedral. Citing police, The Mirror reported that the incident was a robbery gone wrong.

The entire scene, which was also filmed by local television channels, shows the moment Francisco Erasmo Rodrigues de Lima intervenes and pushes away the gunman, giving time for the woman to escape.

Clad in a blue denim jacket, Francisco is seen smoking a cigarette and bravely walking into the dangerous situation.

But as the woman flees the scene, the angry gunman--identified as convicted criminal Luiz Antonio da Silva (49)--shot Francisco. However, the brave 61-year-old man still manages to corner the gunman, and then slowly walks away and then slumps down to the ground. He received at least two bullet injuries on the chest. He is shown dying at the scene.

Thousands of online users have now called on for a decent burial for Francisco and have asked authorities to honour him in his death.

The gunman, who was shot and injured by the police, has been arrested. The police said that Silva has spent 22 years in prison for theft, damage of property and causing bodily harm, Russia Today reported.

Video of Sao Paulo Cathedral Shooting [DISTURBING CONTENT]