2007-03-04 : Cop shoots baby son, commits suicide

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2007-03-04 : Cop shoots baby son, commits suicide

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2007-03-05 08:02


Cop shoots baby son, commits suicide
Melanie Peters
March 04 2007 at 02:46PM

A night out on the town turned into tragedy for a young Kuils River family on Saturday morning.

Police constable Denzel Owies, his wife Cindy and a group of friends went to the re-opening of a club called Valerie's. But at about 4am Owies left his wife at the club with her friends and returned home, fetching their 18-month-old son, Deo, from a neighbour who was babysitting.

Once home in Downing Street in Highbury, the constable pulled out his service pistol and shot his toddler son three times. He then shot himself in the head, dying later in hospital.

When Cindy Owies returned home she found Deo and her husband beside each other in a pool of blood.

Neighbour and close friend Roger Cameron, fighting back the tears, said: "None of us can believe he did this. Denzel and I were going to watch the Manchester United and Liverpool game together today. He was a real sports fanatic."

Cameron said the couple had seemed happily married, and as far as he knew Owies had no problems at work. "He never complained. That is why this is such a shock.

"Cindy sat on the pavement, screaming and crying. She kept on saying, 'My baby, my husband. Why me, why me?' They eventually gave her a tranquilliser."

Cameron said he had been invited to join the rest of the group at the club, but had decided not to.

"Denzel was a very nice guy and we were good friends. He was the kind of neighbour who would take my rubbish bin out on the days I forgot to."

Close to tears, Cameron said: "I can't understand why he would do this. He shot his son twice in the chest and once in the head and then shot himself in the head."

Police spokeswoman Inspector Bernadine Steyn confirmed the incident.

This was the fifth incident of its kind in just over six months. Last month a two-year-old girl narrowly escaped death when her policeman father shot dead his wife while the child was sitting on her lap. He then shot his father-in-law, before turning the gun on himself.

In January, Charl Scharnick, 27, a constable at Paarl East police station, shot dead his wife, Mesade, 28, and his father-in-law, Tom Meyer, 60.

He also shot and wounded his mother-in-law, Clara Meyer, 58, who is the provincial deputy chairperson of the DA Women's Network.

In November, Kuils River policeman Thanduxolo Yandisa Nzumkuma, 29, shot dead his pregnant wife, Bulelwa, 28.

Brackenfell police officer Marius van der Westhuizen shot dead his three children in front of his wife before trying to kill himself in August.

That same week, in Eerste River, a police officer shot dead his ex-girlfriend, Nomonde Mgquba, before killing himself.

A total of 244 police officers committed suicide between 2003 and 2005, while 298 died in the line of duty in the same period.

* This article was originally published on page 6 of Cape Argus on March 04, 2007
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