The incident occurred at a nightclub in Americana, Sao Paulo, during the early hours of Friday morning as a thief attempted to steal the footballer’s gold chain and watch.
As he left the nightclub at 3am, Emerson, 23, was reportedly coincidentally accompanied by an off-duty police officer, who demanded the thief drop his weapon before engaging in a shootout.
Local media say the thief was hit by one of the nine bullets fired by the off-duty officer and is now in hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
After reporting the attempted robbery at a police station, the Tottenham defender briefly spoke to reporters and is quoted by Globo Esporte as saying: “It was a difficult moment, but now I'm going to rest.”
Emerson later posted on Instagram a picture of himself and the officer: “God sends angels to earth, this is confirmed every day in my life. This human being, I call him an angel, risked his own life to save mine.
“I will be forever grateful to you, you were fundamental for me to be here today. Thank you, thank you thank you. (This photo was moments before the event, where he said he was my fan and asked for a photo with me).”
Standard Sport understands that Tottenham are aware of the reports and in the process of checking on Emerson’s welfare.
Details have since emerged over how the incident unfolded with Emerson and his family ducking for cover as 17 shots were fired from the thief’s gun, fortunately none of which struck the player or his party.
Police deputy Robson Goncalves de Oliveira stated: “It was outside. The victim had met with some friends to enjoy the nightclub and at around 3am, when going to their vehicle to leave, he was approached by the robber.
“In reality, the event taking place at the nightclub was not player-oriented, so we believe that someone noticed that he had sporting valuables and this must have caught the attention of a spotter, who must have informed the thief, who came to carry out the robbery.
“The victim told us that he went out with his friends to leave and that the man approached, already with a gun in his hand, and announced that he wanted him to immediately hand over the gold chain and the watch he had on his wrist. If he didn't, he would kill him.
“Coincidentally, luckily, minutes earlier, a military police officer who was at the nightclub, enjoying his leisure time, had taken a picture with the player and realised that the individual was going to approach him. He announced that he was a policeman and that the thief must drop his gun. However, the robber did not obey.”
The player’s father, Emerson Aparecido Leite de Souza, described the scene as the shootout forced the group to flee before the thief was caught.
He added: “I was celebrating and on the way out, this whole incident occurred, which was very bad. A horror scene indeed. I don't wish that on anyone.
“He was accompanied by his family. There were around five or six people with him. Each one was running, dodging, because we didn't know where the shots were coming from.”