2008-05-24 : Mom fights to save kids from killers

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2008-05-24 : Mom fights to save kids from killers

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2008-07-16 13:37

http://www.thestar.co.za/?fSectionId=&f ... 557C530622

Mom fights to save kids from killers
24 May 2008, 11:22
A Pretoria mother fought tooth and nail to save the lives of her
husband and two young children when they were attacked in their home
early on Friday morning.

Elana Maree, 25, and her husband, Gawie, 27, were asleep in the home
in Meyerspark when they awoke to find a man with a gun standing by
their bedside.

Elana tried to kick the gun out of the man's hands as he and his
three accomplices opened fire on the family at point-blank range.

She grabbed her 11-month-old-son, Dawid, and two-year-old daughter,
Elane, from their cribs in the room.

As the attackers continued shooting, she lay on top of the children
on the floor, shielding them from the bullets.

Maree managed to return fire with his .357 Magnum revolver, killing
one of the attackers.

But he was hit in the legs and neck, the bullet piercing his lungs
and grazing his heart before exiting through his back.

He died moments after a neighbour took him to Wilgers Hospital.

The children were saved.

Maree's father, Frikkie, said: "She is heartbroken. We all are. Our
family is devastated."

Maree said the four gunmen had broken into the family's home through
a lounge window before ransacking the house.

"We believe that when they found Gawie's gun safes, they went to his
bedroom to look for the keys and then shot him.

"I don't know why they shot him. I can't understand it. Why did they
have to do it? Couldn't they have taken the keys without killing my

"They have robbed Dawid and Elane of a loving father, and Elana of a
loving husband.

"Gawie's family was his life. They were his world and he died for

He said his son, who had been married to Elana for four years, was
excited about the weekend because it was his wife and daughter's
birthday on Sunday.

"Gawie had gone to so much trouble to make it a special day. We were
planning a big family celebration, but now our family is destroyed,"
he said.

He said they didn't know if anything had been taken.

"It looks like they may have stolen a pair of earrings, but we don't

"It doesn't make sense. It's like a nightmare that we can't wake up

Police recovered a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle on the scene. It is one
of the most powerful pistols in the world.

Police said they were investigating a case of murder and house
robbery. An inquest docket had been opened.

The shooting comes just a day after a gang of house robbers attacked
two households in the Leeufontein area.

Gerrit Klopper, head of the Derdepoort community support
organisation, said gunmen broke into the home of an elderly woman on
Thursday morning. One of them shot her as she pressed the panic

He said she was in a serious condition in Montana Hospital.

"Moments later the same gunmen attacked the woman's neighbours.

"They tied up the couple and their young children before fleeing
with the family's car," he said.

Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of any of the
gunmen can call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or the police emergency
call centre on 10111.

a.. This article was originally published on page 2 of The
Pretoria News on May 24, 2008
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