2007-10-29 : Is there a serial shooter in Durban?

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2007-10-29 : Is there a serial shooter in Durban?

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2007-11-06 08:00

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 629C218062


Is there a serial shooter in Durban?


October 29 2007 at 10:57AM


By Sharlene Packree


Fears that a serial shooter is on the loose in the Hillcrest area have
led to motorists avoiding travelling late at night and have also
alarmed taxi commuters.


The random shootings last week left a teenager dead and another
motorist in a critical condition. Both had been shot in confrontations
with the occupants of a white minibus that resembled a taxi.


A special police task team has been set up to track down the shooter
and in a new development a major taxi association has promised to do
everything it can to help catch the culprit.


'The attacks could form part of a gang initiation ritual'
Residents are speculating the attacks are the work of a serial shooter
or part of a gang initiation.


The Hillcrest Community Information Centre has fielded several calls
from concerned residents worried that there was a serial shooter
operating in the area and about the safety of their families.



In the first attack on Thursday night, Calvin Boreham, 17, his mother
Charmaine and his brother Grant, 19, were returning from the Mugg and
Bean Coffee Shop in Hillcrest to their home in Forest Hills when they
were attacked.


The driver of the minibus pulled alongside Boreham's vehicle, leaned
forward and fired at them.


Calvin was shot in the chest and died a few minutes later.


An hour later, Hammarsdale resident Faith Matho Sideko was attacked on
Hospital Road by the driver of a similar white minibus. She was shot
in the stomach and is recovering in hospital.


There seemed to be no apparent motive for the shootings and the driver
of the minibus, with a NP registration, managed to get away.


On Friday, another motorist was attacked while driving on the M13 off
ramp just before Hillcrest, again by a shooter in a white minibus.


The woman escaped unharmed.


Police spokesperson Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen said police had
established a specialised task team to deal with the shootings.


"There have been no arrests so far but we are following several
leads," said Veldhuizen.


Warren Brauns, operations manager for Hillcrest Community Information
Centre, said the attacks could be the work of a serial shooter or
gang-related.


"The attacks could form part of a gang initiation ritual. It's too
early to confirm whether the shootings were the work of a serial
shooter," he said.


Dennis Hadebe, the chairperson of the Durban West Taxi Association
which incorporates Hillcrest, said he was aware of the attacks and
they were working closely with police to catch the suspect.


Hadebe said the association had convened an emergency meeting for
Monday to discuss the attacks and how they planned to help police
catch the shooter.


He said he was convinced the shooter was not a member of the
association and they were concerned that people would assume the
attacks were linked to the taxi industry.


"I would like to apologise to the community and motorists who were attacked.


"Our drivers have told us that there are some commuters who are now
scared of taking taxis. These attacks on innocent people were
horrible," he said.


"I just want to assure everyone that we will do whatever it takes to
help police catch the shooter. This cannot happen again," he said.


Meanwhile in Durban, police have stepped up patrols around the
Spaghetti Junction area after several attacks on motorists whose cars
had broken down.


Police believe a hijacking gang is operating in the area.


In the latest attack on Saturday night, a man was shot and wounded
while changing a tyre near the bridge. The man was shot in the abdomen
and was taken to hospital.


Last week, a woman was shot in the hand after she had driven over
rocks that were deliberately placed under the bridge.


A tow truck driver who stopped to assist Tilla Dalhouzie, 49, warned
her the area was dangerous and that she should move her vehicle.


Several shots were then fired at Dalhouzie and the tow truck driver
and she was struck by a bullet in the hand before they fled the area.


A memorial service will be held for Boreham at the Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints church in Hillcrest on Monday evening.


o This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on October 29, 2007
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GOSA
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