Durban - A Durban resident is in custody after firing a warning shot which killed an intruder after it ricocheted off a kitchen wall in his Manor Gardens home on Sunday.
Dennis Webster, who says his rented home has been broken into 15 times by intruders because there is no alarm system, woke early to let his dog out. While he was in the bathroom he heard a noise in the kitchen.
“I finished what I had to do and went towards the kitchen. I noticed a guy running through the room towards the inside of the house.”
Webster had left a packet of money on his kitchen table the night before, but he was more concerned about his gun being stolen. He kept the gun in one of the cabinet drawers.
“I lunged across to open the drawer and got the firearm out, but as I was doing that this guy came at me with a knife.”
Webster said he was able to fire a warning shot which hit the kitchen wall.
“It didn’t occur to me that the shot had ricocheted because the guy just kept coming at me and fighting me.”
By this time, his wife, Jacqui, who was sleeping upstairs, had heard the commotion and had come downstairs.
“I managed to get the guy around the neck and I shouted to my wife to tie him up. It was then that I noticed he became very weak,” Webster said.
The bullet, said Webster, had lodged in the attacker’s right shoulder.
“We phoned the cops who were there in about 30 minutes, but they would not declare the guy dead until an ambulance arrived. We could see he was gone,” he said.
Three friends who were at the Mayville police station to lend the couple support, and who asked not to be named, said they were enraged at the actions of the police.
“Here is a guy who is protecting his home and his wife and the police lock him up. It just doesn’t seem right. It’s ridiculous.”
DA police spokeswoman Dianne Kohler Barnard, said the police had followed the correct procedure.
“If a person kills another person the police have to arrest them and then they appear in court when they can apply for bail.
“They did the right thing.”
Investigating officers at the Mayville police station – who said they were not allowed to speak to The Mercury – said a special court sitting would take place today and Webster could apply for bail.
Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge could not be reached on Sunday night.