Pretoria - A Centurion woman was shot by robbers in her home and died early on Wednesday. Fiona Finniss, 57, and her husband Bob, 74, had been living on their smallholding in Marais Avenue, Monavoni, for 24 years.
At about 3.30am, the couple were awakened by their dogs barking. Four intruders were in the house.
Gerald Finniss, Fiona’s stepson, said that when he arrived at the scene shortly after the incident, he did not see any signs of forced entry.
He lives one street away from the smallholding.
Gerald said his father always locked the gate to the property. But at the time of the murder, the gate was locked, but the key left in it.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Katlego Mogale said one of the intruders went to the couple’s bedroom.
“Lucky, my stepmother’s Boxer dog, which she rescued a few years ago, raised the alarm.
“She and Lucky were inseparable and he went ballistic,” said a distraught Gerald. He said the dogs always slept in the house.
“My stepmother woke up and started screaming to my dad that there was someone in the room,” Gerald said.
The intruder fired a shot that hit Fiona in the stomach. She died before paramedics arrived.
After she was shot, her husband ran out of the house, screaming.
His son, who lives on a neighbouring smallholding, heard his father and called the police.
“My dad was so dependent on Fiona, I do not think he even had the police’s number.
“It has not sunk in with him yet,” Gerald said. The couple had been married for 35 years.
“She was such a tiny, defenceless woman. She did not pose any threat to the intruders,” Gerald said.
The suspects fled after Fiona was shot. “All they took was my dad’s R700 cellphone,” Gerald said.
Mogale said no arrests had yet been made. “We are investigating a case of murder.”
Fiona leaves her husband, two sons, Richard and Robert, and five stepchildren.
She worked at the SA Air Force Museum as an accountant, and Bob was a colonel in the air force before he retired. “(Fiona) was a big-hearted person and will be sorely missed,” Gerald said.
A memorial service is to be held on January 24 in Hangar 5 at AFB Swartkop.