According to the Civil Police, two residents and a criminal died during the attack. Two suspects were arrested.
The criminal action in Araçatuba, about 500 kilometers from the capital of São Paulo, lasted two hours, between the attack on the branches, the shooting and the escape.
According to the news portal G1, the gang members, about 20 in number, approached pedestrians and drivers and took them hostage.
During the assault, the group used 10 cars: some were abandoned and those of residents stolen in the escape.
In videos circulating on social networks, some victims appear tied to the hood of the cars as a kind of human shield for the escape.
Law enforcement isolated some streets and advised residents not to leave home until the situation is under control, because explosives are scattered throughout the locality and can be activated by heat or movement.