2007-01-22 : Woman wounded as church meeting turns bloody

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2007-01-22 : Woman wounded as church meeting turns bloody

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2007-01-22 12:35


Woman wounded as church meeting turns bloody

January 22 2007 at 04:52AM

By Caryn Dolley

Shocked churchgoers watched in disbelief as a gun-wielding man wounded a woman said to be his ex-wife, turning the peaceful Fountain of Life Christian Church parking lot in Marina da Gama into "a bloody nightmare".

The morning church service was just beginning at about 9.40am on Sunday when the first shot rang out, shattering the peace in Eastlake Drive.

The woman, 35, from Steenberg, was wounded in the left side of the abdomen.

'It looked like he meant to shoot himself'

Some bystanders ran for cover and curious neighbours emerged to see what was happening.

The man was seen trying to shoot himself in the head, but the bullet was said only to graze him, before he ran to his car and drove off.

A man, who declined to be named, said he was waiting outside the church when he saw the woman arrive in a vehicle with two friends and get out.

He said a man - whom the woman said was her former husband - got out of another car and began walking after the woman, pleading with her to talk to him.

"Judging from the man's behaviour it appeared he was under the influence of alcohol.

'It was like a messed-up nightmare'

"He grabbed her arm and relatives of the woman asked me to help make the man go away as he was harassing her.

"A group of friends and I approached him and he backed off a bit and walked away."

The witness said that as they walked towards the church, the ex-husband returned to the woman in the parking area and again asked if he could have a conversation with her.

When she refused, he pulled out a gun and shot her.

The ex-husband had then aimed the gun towards the back of his head.

"It looked like he meant to shoot himself in the back of the head," the witness said.

"He shot himself on the side of the head, but it was only a flesh wound because the gun tilted and (the bullet) went slightly off-target.

"The gash was bleeding a lot and he seemed dazed."

He and his friends had wrestled the ex-husband to the ground, pulled the gun from his hand and kicked it aside, the witness said.

"It was like a messed-up nightmare. It's hard to believe this all actually happened. We struggled to get the gun away from the man.

"We didn't want him to hurt anyone else and were scared he'd shoot himself again."

The ex-husband ran to his vehicle, a white Toyota Corolla, and drove away.

The woman is in hospital and in a stable condition.

Shocked relatives, some with blood spattered on their clothes, stood around the police tape cordoning off the parking area and stared at the silver revolver police found at the scene.

Police spokesperson Bernadine Steyn said the revolver police found at the scene was licensed in the man's name.

She said police were investigating a case of attempted murder.

Anyone with information should contact the investigating officer, Gary Drake, at the Muizenberg police station on 021 787 9000 or CrimeStop on 08600 10111.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Cape Times on January 22, 2007
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