Honeymoon bloodbath

2011-12-21 00:00

A POLICEMAN killed his wife of two months outside a Port Shepstone shopping centre yesterday and then shot himself dead.

There are fears that a child may have witnessed the scene and run away, after witnesses said they saw a child flee from the car.

Shocked bystanders said they saw the man, a 31-year-old policeman who was off duty, shoot his wife (34) in her car at the Oribi Plaza parking lot in Port Shepstone at lunch-time yesterday. Then he turned his service pistol on himself.

The couple, who may not yet be named as not all the family members have been told of their deaths, were married on October 25.

Eyewitnesses said they saw a child aged about nine get out of the car and run away. Police established it was not one of her children and are investigating whose child it was.

“The possibility that a child who was in the car had jumped out and ran away is being investigated,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid.

The woman’s sister told police she had two children from a previous relationship and confirmed that both the children, aged 13 years and 18 months, were at home.

“The mother was too emotional to recall. She only indicated that the woman left home in the morning with two female friends,” Wiid said.

“We don’t know whose child was with her. We are trying to find that out. We also don’t know who the two friends are.”

The sister said the family were finding it difficult to understand what had happened.

She and her husband met last year in December “and were always a very happy couple. They were always spending time with each other.

“We did not know that there was any problem. It is too hard for us to understand.”

She said she spoke to her sister yesterday morning.

“Everything was normal. She never said anything about a problem. We didn’t even know her husband was in town.”

The husband, who is also from Ezinqoleni near Port Shepstone, was stationed at the kwaDabeka police station in Durban and would return home on his days off.

The wife was a self-employed business woman in Ezinqoleni.

“She owned a taxi and two vans. She also had a fruit and veg business,” the sister said.

A neighbour described the deceased woman as a “good person”.

“I don’t know him, but she was always smiling and happy. I have never seen her angry. She was not a rebellious person.”

The neighbour added: “I heard rumours that they had an argument at the Port Shepstone library and then she left and went to the plaza. He walked there and went and shot her.”

The Witness arrived on the scene to find the driver’s side window of a blue NPS-registered Chevrolet car shattered. The woman was slumped in the driver’s seat with bullet wounds to her head.

Just outside the door the body of a man was lying with a gunshot wound to his head.

“It is suspected that while she was busy leaving the parking area he fired two shots through the window, which hit her in the head. He then allegedly shot himself under the chin and died on the scene,” Wiid said.

Not far from where he lay was a bloodied cap, the gun, a bullet and his yellow and black backpack. A large crowd of shoppers gathered behind the police barrier tape and witnesses to the tragic events described their confusion and horror.

“I was looking for a parking and I heard a sound and thought it was a cracker. Then I heard the sound of glass shattering,” said a witness who had just entered the parking area when the shot rang out.

“I noticed the man with his back facing me. He held the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The next thing I saw was blood shooting out [of his head] and he fell to the ground,” said the highly traumatised witness.

“It happened so quickly and then someone was motioning the cars to move, and as I passed the scene I noticed the car window was shot and a woman was lying on the seat.”

Maritha Potgieter, who was also in the parking lot, said she heard two gunshots.

“Out of nowhere I just heard these shots. When I turned around to look I saw the man had turned his back to the car and shot himself in the head. That was the third shot.”

Potgieter said it looked as if the woman had done her shopping and was leaving in her car.

“I never heard anything. They were not fighting, there was no screaming, nothing.

“It’s like he just waited for her to come out and shot her and then himself,” she said.

Wiid said: “The car and a state firearm were confiscated by police. The motive for the killings is being investigated.”

A murder and inquest dockets have been opened.

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