Guards, neighbours tell of hostage drama

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A Durban North woman survived being shot five times, allegedly by her ex-husband, who took her hostage and then used her as a human shield when he was confronted by private security guards. Photo: Sibonelo Ngcobo

Durban - A Durban North woman survived being shot five times, allegedly by her ex-husband, who took her hostage and then used her as a human shield when he was confronted by private security guards.

He was armed with a 9mm gun and had between 50 to 60 rounds of ammunition in his pocket.

The man had broken an electric fence and climbed on to the roof of her home to get at her. On Friday morning the woman’s friend said the victim was recovering well in hospital and was able to speak.

The 43-year-old woman was shot four times in the chest - two bullets exited her body - and once in the neck.

The suspect, who also allegedly fired at security guards who were called to the scene, was arrested later by the owner of the security company, Tyron Powell.

Powell, owner of Marshall Security, said on Thursday that it was not yet known what triggered Wednesday night’s incident. Powell said his guards were initially called to the home at about 10pm.

“The woman lives in a granny flat apartment upstairs and the owners downstairs,” Powell told the Daily News.

“Apparently, about 20 to 30 minutes before gunshots were heard, security officers were called out because a man was standing on the road throwing rocks at her glass door, which he smashed.”

However, the man ran away and, despite a search for him, security officers could not locate him. It is believed he circled the block and then parked his vehicle at the intersection of Adelaide Tambo and Swapo Road (Broadway) and walked back to the property.

“He fired shots at the window which is when the security officers were called again.

“He broke the electric fence in front of the property and climbed over,” Powell said.

According to a neighbour, who asked not to be named, once on the property the shooter climbed onto the roof using the gutter and bent the burglar bars of the flat’s back window, allowing him to gain entry and shoot at her.

The woman ran out on to the front balcony and climbed on to the adjacent balustrade where she tried to hide.

“He went over the roof to where she was hiding. She was saying, ‘he shot me, he shot me’,” said the neighbour.

“We saw the security guards on site but we didn’t go out the house.”

Powell said it was unclear whether the suspect had shot the woman on the balcony, but it was then that Marshall Security guards had arrived.

“He fired shots at the security guards and took her inside the flat. The two of them then came out the front door, on the ground floor, and he was holding her against him.”

Powell said he managed to arrest the suspect and remove his 9mm pistol, which was empty, although another 50 to 60 rounds of ammunition were found in his pocket.

One of the occupants of the house, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the woman had only been living in the flat for about three months.

“I had never seen that man in my life,” he said of the suspect, “but he came here with one intention and that was to kill her”.

The man, his wife and 10-month-old baby, as well as his mother, were in the house at the time of the shooting. They took cover and could not see what happened.

Police confirmed the suspect has been charged with attempted murder and is in police custody.

Daily News

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