Daughter wounded by bullet ‘meant for mom’

2012-10-26 00:00

A UNIVERSITY student was shot outside her Mtunzini home as she left to take her younger brother to school yesterday morning.

Police said the 21-year-old was reversing out of her driveway with her nine-year-old brother in the car when an unknown gunman walked out from behind a tree, approached the driver’s door and fired three shots.

The student sustained gunshot wounds to an arm and her chest and was immediately rushed to hospital, where she was stabilised. At the time of going to press, she was still critical, but stable.

One bullet travelled through a lung and lodged in her spine. She is currently in intensive care.

A third bullet, which is believed to have ricocheted in the vehicle, skimmed the back of the neck of her brother. He was taken to hospital, but has since been discharged.

The victims’ father, speaking on condition of anonymity, said although the family was traumatised, they were keeping strong.

“We are uncertain at this stage of the nature of the shooting. Usually my wife takes my son to school, but this morning my daughter offered to take him as she was visiting from university.

“We have taken the necessary security precautions at this stage. I couldn’t be more thankful to the doctor who attended to my daughter on the scene and the trauma unit at the hospital. My son doesn’t want to stay at home. It has really traumatised him,” said the father.

He said his family will not be staying at their Mtunzini home for the time being. He couldn’t confirm or deny if the shooting was related to a business venture.

“We must let justice take its course before we can speculate,” he said.

Police spokesperson Captain Mbongeni Mdlalose said they were searching for the suspect.

“The suspect disappeared from the scene. We have opened up two cases of attempted murder and are busy following up leads,” he said.

Mvula Maxim Security guards chased the shooter and may have wounded him in an exchange of gunfire.

The chase saw the guards track the man deep into nearby forests, through plantations and sugar cane fields, before losing trace of him at a river.

Area manager Sakkie Loxton said his guards exchanged fire with the man, who had been wearing a new set of blue overalls.

“During the chase, he shot at our patrol guards and they returned fire. He may have been wounded during this exchange, but we cannot say for certain. We did find his blue jacket with bloodstains while we were tracking him. There has never been an incident of this nature before in Mtunzini as far as I know,” said Loxton.

Mtunzini Residents’ Association security liaison Steve Hermann said although there was currently a gang committing burglaries in the village, yesterday’s attack was unusual.

“They [the gunshot victims] were very fortunate as a trauma doctor lived nearby and was able to attend to the scene very quickly,” said Hermann.

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