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Hero ex-Para saved his family as wife shot twice while on holiday in Brazil

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A British holidaymaker who got his family to safety after his wife was shot twice in front of their three daughters in Brazil has been hailed a hero.

Firefighter and former paratrooper Maxwell Dixon, 46, used all of his training to speed his loved ones away in their hire car after it came under fire from gunmen, who shot out its tyres.

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His wife Eloise, also 46, has undergone emergency surgery.

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Mr Dixon’s mother Hazel, 76, said: “Maxwell is a very good driver and an ex-paratrooper.

Maxwell

“He’s very, very good in an emergency… apparently he drove the car as fast as he could with four flat tyres to a safe area and the nearest police station.

“I think from there they were taken to hospital. It could have been so much worse.”

Mrs Dixon added: “Obviously I sing his praises but I think he would have been really gutsy. He’s useful when it comes to the crunch; he’s as calm as can be.”

Mr Dixon had mistakenly driven into a “favela”, one of the country’s crime-ridden slums, after becoming lost.

As with many of the deprived areas, it is controlled by a drugs gang.

The family, from Bromley, South-east London, were directed to the favela after a language mix-up when they stopped to ask for directions.

The couple’s girls, Isabella, 13, Holly, eight, and Alice, seven – all in the back of the family’s hire car – escaped unscathed.

Mrs Dixon is said to be in a stable condition.

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