Man killed in Fairland robbery

Store manage George Wohltern points at the bullet casing and blood believed to be that of the deceased perpetrator.

Beagle Watch Armed Response officers shot and killed a man on the corner of 14th Avenue and Johannes Street in Fairland on 1 November.

This was as a result of an altercation between Beagle Watch officers and an unconfirmed number of suspects who robbed Pizza Del Forno.

Employee Kobus Nagel and the Pizza Del Forno staff were alarmed when armed men walked into the shop and demanded money.

“It was after 9pm when we were busy cashing up and guys came in the front door and asked us to lie down,” recounted Nagel.

The perpetrators demanded watches, cellphones and wallets of the staff.

“They put a gun against George’s (store manager) head demanding to know where the safe was, they came to me and asked where the money was but we kept on telling them there was no safe,” he said.

According to store manager George Wohltern, “They told me to lie on the floor and hit me on the head and on my body a couple of times demanding to know where the safe was. They dragged me all around the floor.”

According to Nagel, “It went quiet for a couple of seconds and by the time they walked out Beagle Watch was waiting for them and that’s when the gun shots started.”

“I kept saying to myself ‘Oh my God this is not the time, not now, not like this’,” he said.

It is believed a resident drove past the shop and noticed what was happening and immediately alerted Beagle Watch.

The staff stayed on the floor until Beagle Watch officers told them it was safe to get up. Residents in the area were alarmed.

“It was at about 10:45 pm and I was returning from visiting my daughter in the area when we saw cars, lights and the police all over. I got the fright of my life because I stay right around the corner, so I got into my complex quickly and closed the gate. The lady next door said she heard six shots and went inside and locked herself in,” said witness Frik van der Merwe.

Two other suspects were apprehended. One was up in a tree and the other hiding in an open veld. One suspect is believed to be at large.

Two Beagle Watch reaction officers, Mathibela and Livhiwani were shot and taken to Flora Clinic.

Beagle Watch media liaison Anne Wood said the two officers that put their lives at risk are doing well following the incident. Both officers sustained single gunshot wounds to the left leg.

Beagle Watch Victim Support councillor Michelle Spies attended to the scene.

“It was chaos when I got there and I had to help them and contain the situation. The victims were traumatised. It is difficult to contain the scene when there is so much going on, that’s why I came back in the morning to check on them,” she said.

Sotiri Frantzeskakis owner of Pizza Del Forno said, “We are grateful to Beagle Watch because these guys are on point, they were waiting for these guys as they came out”.

According to Frantzeskakis, Fairland Police were highly professional.

Some items that were stolen have been recovered although the one suspect fled the scene with other goods.

Ancillar Mangena

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