Woman shot during Durban 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 hostage drama played out in Durban North on Wednesday night, leaving a 43-year-old woman fighting for her life after she was shot three times, in the neck and chest, through her bedroom window apparently by her ex-boyfriend, 49.

The woman, who moved to Durban from Joburg, had gone to bed when the man appeared at the upstairs window after he came over the electric fence and climbed on to the roof.

He had been at the house earlier in the day when he had allegedly been abusive towards her, despite having a protection order against him.

On Thursday, Tyrone Powell from Marshall Security told how the company had received multiple panic signals from the owner of the house as well as numerous calls from neighbours reporting a shooting.

“Four reaction vehicles were dispatched as well as members of our special operations team,” he said.

When they arrived the security guards found the suspect holding the injured woman hostage on the first floor balcony of the house, he said.

“As our officers approached the suspect (who) fired shots in their direction and went into the house. He then came out the ground floor entrance using the victim held as a shield.”

However, the guards eventually persuaded him to surrender and were able to arrest him and rescue the woman.

A 9mm pistol and a large amount of ammunition was recovered from him.

“The victim walked down some steps and collapsed on the grass, it was then ascertained that she had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the right side of her chest and her neck,” Powell said.

He said paramedics stabilised her before taking her to hospital.

“It appeared that, while he was on the roof, the man had shot her through the window and then gained access to the premises,” Powell said.

On Thursday, the landlady, who asked not to be named, told The Mercury that before the shooting she had only seen the man “once before”.

In a visit last month he had caused “a big scene”.

“He was shouting and hooting for her to open the gate but she refused,” she said.

Prior to the shooting, the man had arrived at the house earlier in the day and caused a fracas, “throwing stones… breaking windows and damaging glass doors”, the landlady said.

The security company were notified and gave chase, but could not catch him.

“We assumed he had left… but he then came back with his gun,” the landlady said.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said police were investigating a case of attempted murder and “could not divulge further information at this stage”.

The suspect is expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday.


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