Cape Town - A Mitchells Plain father coolly talked a gunman, who was holding him and his family hostage in their home, into handing over his weapon.
Advising the gunman, who was evading police, to hide under the sink, Wayne Hendricks, 43, of Eastridge, cleverly got word to police that the man they were looking for was in his home.
The gunman was then arrested.
“He was supposed to hold us hostage, but we held him hostage,” Hendricks said on Sunday.
“You could see he’s like a killer. His eyes were just so,” he said, opening his eyes wide.
Hendricks, his wife, children and four young relatives, aged one to four years, were held hostage for more than an hour. His wife was so traumatised she needed medical treatment.
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said early on Sunday the suspect, about 30, had sped away from a vehicle check point in Khayelitsha with Metro police in pursuit.
The man drove the Hyundai into a ditch along Swartklip Road and abandoned it. He shot at police as he ran into the Hendricks home and held the family hostage.
It was later discovered the Hyundai belonged to a Gugulethu resident who was killed at his home earlier on Sunday.
The suspect is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
Recounting the drama, Hendricks said on Sunday he heard shooting then glass breaking. The gunman had broken a window at the back of his home to try and get in.
He went outside and spotted the man.
He ran back in, but the gunman came at him from the opposite direction and threatened him with a gun.
“He said: ‘Open the door now.’ I saw the gun. He came in. He told me to keep quiet.”
Hendricks said he tried to keep the gunman, who appeared slightly intoxicated, calm in his small home.
“I was calming him from outside already. When he cocked the gun above me I said: ‘We’ll hide you away’.”
Four children were asleep in the house and Hendricks made sure they were calm when they woke up because of the commotion.
He said the gunman had asked for clothes, to try and fool the police looking for him. Hendricks handed him some of his son’s clothing.
Hendricks then started coaxing the gunman into handing over the firearm.
“I was playing with his brain. I told him I’ll hide the gun and I’ll hide you… He didn’t want to give over the gun.”
Hendricks told the gunman that he would hide the weapon so police could not find it and link it to him.
Eventually the gunman handed over the weapon and Hendricks hid it in the ceiling, where the gunman also wanted to hide.
Hendricks said he kept things calm by making a cup of tea as the gunman sat on the couch.
When he realised police officers were outside, he told the gunman the situation.
Hendricks got the gunman to agree to hide in a cavity under the kitchen sink which was covered by a white board.
Once the gunman was inside, Hendricks managed to get outside and tell a neighbour the gunman was in his home.
Meanwhile, he got his family out of the house.
Police were told and officers arrested the man and retrieved the firearm.
Hendricks said throughout the ordeal his main aim was to keep his family and all the children safe.
He realised he would have to outwit the gunman.
“I had to keep my children safe. I turned the situation around. I had to,” a modest Hendricks explained.