TWO police officers are in hospital after an angry crowd in Bishop Lavis surrounded their vehicle, smashed its windows and attacked them – and a resident was killed in the ensuing scuffle when one of the officers’ firearms went off.
Jerome Brown, 36, who was released from prison 10 months ago after spending nearly 17 years in jail for murder, was shot in the left eye and died at the scene.
Yesterday, speaking outside his home in Kreefgat, Bishop Lavis near to where the shooting happened, a 28s gang member said rival gangsters had arrived in a nearby street on Sunday and started shooting.
“The police came, but the people felt they came too late, so they attacked the two officers. They threw stones, tried to grab the police’s guns and hit them. The police were surrounded by about 120 people. Jerome was in the crowd when he was shot,” the gangster said.
Yesterday, Brown’s mother, Fatima Williams, said after her son was killed and as she was sitting next to his body in the street, bullets had flown over her head.
“The gangsters wouldn’t stop shooting. I even saw the ambulance turn around and speed away,” she said.
Police spokesman Andre Traut said back-up officers had managed to rescue the two injured officers who were in hospital in a stable condition yesterday. They had suffered cuts and bruises.
Traut said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate was probing Brown’s killing. He said extra police resources had been deployed to Bishop Lavis and arrests were yet to be made.
Yesterday, Williams said she had been in Camps Bay on Sunday afternoon when she was told she needed to return home immediately.
When she got to a street near her home, her son’s body was lying in the middle of it.
“I sat next to him from five o’clock to 11 o’clock. The gangsters shot right over me and his body and people pulled me into a house. Afterwards I went back to his body and waited. I sat there on the ground with my boy.
“The emergency cars were too scared to fetch his body. It got windy, so I put bricks on the blanket that I covered him with,” Williams said, trembling and wiping tears away as she wept.
“Those six hours are something no mother should ever go through. All I could think was that my son didn’t deserve to die like this.” She said earlier on Sunday, her son had been drinking and because he had appeared intoxicated, neighbours had insisted he go home.
He was shot a few hundred metres from his house.
Williams said when Brown had been 19 he was convicted of a Belhar murder he had been involved in.
A man in his 20s had been fatally stabbed.
“Jerome spent 16-and-a-half years in [Drakenstein Correctional Centre] and came out 10 months ago. He was so happy. On Saturday he said: ‘Mummy, it’s my first December with you in ages. I’m so glad to be out of jail.
“You know, I’ve got three other children, but when it came to Jerome, I felt so sorry for him. He was so young when he went to jail. He never had children. That part of his life was spent in jail. Now even his second chance is gone,” Williams said.
She said while her son had been friends with gangsters, he had not been a gang member.
Williams said shootings were common in the area.
“But you know what? The next time there’s a shooting I’ll never look at the body again. Never.”