Durban - Collapsing to the ground and pretending to be dead is what may have saved a Phoenix resident from being taken by hijackers in his vehicle and possibly killed.

That’s according to the 23-year-old’s cousin, who said his only chance of survival was to pretend to be dead, after being shot twice on Sunday.

The man, who requested anonymity due to fear of his family being targeted, is recovering slowly in hospital with a bullet wound above his left knee and a shattered left elbow bone.

He was driving home at 2am on Sunday when a bullet hit him as he approached his yard on Acara Street, Phoenix.

“They yanked him out of his vehicle and shot him again above the knee. They told him they were taking him with them where they will kill him but he collapsed and out of fear they got away leaving him for dead, said the victim’s cousin. I think they used a silencer on their gun because everything happened at his yard and no one heard a sound.”

Once he was sure the perpetrators had driven away, the man wobbled to his home screaming to his mother, “Ma, I’ve been shot”.

“When my aunt got to him he was covered in blood but luckily we rushed him to hospital and stabilised him. He is so traumatised by this incident; we all are,” said his cousin.

“We believe the criminals had been timing my cousin because we noticed the car in the area days before.”

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said a case of hijacking and attempted murder was being investigated by Phoenix police.