‘I saw Alberton dad gun down family’
Johannesburg - An enraged father, newly divorced and involved in a custody battle for his daughters,shot his ex-wife, killed their girls and committed suicide on Thursday morning.
The shocking incident, which took place in Brackenhurst in Alberton, was witnessed by Abram Moraba, who was walking to work at The Glen shopping mall when he saw the shooting.
Moraba first noticed a white Toyota Fortuner parked at a business in Hennie Alberts Street. The vehicle had no registration plates, and was one he had spotted on Wednesday parked just a short distance from where it was on Thursday.
As he approached the intersection of Hennie Alberts and Alice streets, he saw a man dressed all in black step out from behind a tree and start shooting at a car approaching from down the road.
Moraba, who stood frozen in shock, said the man fired about 14 shots, aiming most of the rounds at the left side of the car where there were two teenage girls.
From there the gunman moved to the other side of the car and fired another two shots at the woman behind the wheel.
He then turned and saw Moraba and shouted: “F***!” before casually walking towards his car.
Moraba said he did not try to run while the man was shooting because, besides being in a state of shock, he was afraid of being mistaken as the shooter. While he stood there, a man in a black BMW stopped. He and Moraba then tried to help the victims.
The woman - the mother of the teenage girls - was crying out for help.
She asked Moraba and the other man to use her phone to call her doctor.
The doctor was on the way when Moraba and the BMW driver decided to rush the older daughter to the hospital.
“I sat with the girl at the back and we raced to Alberton Hospital. We didn’t stop - even at the traffic lights. All along the way the girl didn’t say anything. She was just vomiting and I kept saying to her: ‘Be strong, be strong, we are almost there.’ And she just kept on being sick,” Moraba said.
The men then left the girl at the hospital and returned to the scene. They heard later that the girl had died.
Moraba said: “I would like to go to her funeral, even though I didn’t know her.”
Bernard Karusseit, a caretaker at a townhouse complex not far from where the incident happened, heard the gunshots.
He initially thought it was a hijacking and rushed towards the scene. He saw Moraba and the BMW driver leaving with one of the injured girls.
He looked inside the car and saw the other daughter with her school bag strapped on her back. All the windows on her side of the car were shattered.
He reached in to feel her pulse and found it to be weak.
He lifted the girl into his own car and he and his son rushed her to Union Hospital. On the way they encountered a metro police car and asked for them to escort them. The girl died when she got to hospital.
An ambulance arrived and the mother was taken to hospital where she was admitted in a serious condition.
Witnesses on the scene said they believed the gunman had opened fire on the 18-year-old daughter in the front passenger seat, shooting about 10 times. He then fired two more shots at the back seat where the 14-year-old girl was and then turned to his ex-wife and shot her twice.
He then walked to his car, which was reverse-parked in a parking lot, and shot and killed himself with the last bullet.
A neighbour, Natasha Tinto-Lewis, said she heard that the couple had just gone through an extremely bad divorce and were involved in a custody battle over their children.
The police said they had the names of the deceased, but could not release them until their next of kin had been informed.