Gary Jansen was shot dead after two men walked into a popular lounge and open fire. Photo: Patrick Louw

A Flats man is fighting for his life in hospital after he was injured in a shootout which left three people dead.

Witnesses say local pub owner and former 28s member Theo Gopie used a corpse to shield himself from the alleged gunmen who opened fire at his Belhar establishment.

Police say two men fired several shots inside the Come Together Lounge in Kanala Crescent, Belhar Extension 13, on Sunday night after a “quarrel over liquor”.

However, it’s believed that the gunmen were out to kill Theo.

Barman at the popular lounge, Michael Gopie, says one of the men first came in to order a drink and minutes later returned and allegedly opened fire.

“He came inside, asked for the price of a cider then he went out and came back in to order,” says Michael, Theo’s uncle.

“After he drank the cider, he came back in and that’s when they started shooting.”

It’s said more than 20 rounds were fired when Piet Morkel, who was standing at the door, Gary Jansen and a third man were killed. Theo, who was shot through the mouth, protected himself from the shooters by pulling one of the corpses close to him to cover his body.

Gary’s cousin Garnett Spies, who lives two doors away, says he could hear the shots from his house.

“I had just left the place when I heard more than 20 shots being fired from here,” he says.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, who was at the bloodied tavern on Monday, says one man was arrested in connection with the attack.

“It appears that these men were after the owner… a lot of rounds were found which is a clear indication that these men meant to do as much harm as possible,” says Plato.

Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk says a case of murder and attempted murder has been opened.

“The incident occurred at 8.40pm… Two victims died on the scene while the third victim ran out and collapsed in the road and also died,” says Van Wyk.

“The fourth victim – the owner of the premises – sustained a gunshot wound in the mouth and his right leg, and was transported to hospital for treatment. The other three deceased sustained gunshot wounds in the head, chest and thigh.”

* Contact Captain Bailey 082 777 4571 with info.

* This article was published on p7 of the Daily Voice