Mystery shrouds death in pub

2014-09-27 00:00

THE owner of a popular Ashburton club died in a tragic shooting accident yesterday.

The 44-year-old businessman apparently shot himself in the Pope Ellis Drive pub with his own gun.

There were conflicting reports of how the fatal shot came to be fired. One version was that the man shot himself while cleaning his gun.

The other was that he killed himself in a Russian roulette demonstration.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said they were investigating the circumstances around the incident; the man’s full name was not released yesterday as the police said they did not have it.

It is alleged that patrons at the club were apparently playing a sort of Russian roulette with a BB gun — a type of pellet gun.

The businessman, who was also the barman, allegedly drew his own firearm and made a comment to the effect of “I will show you how to play Russian roulette with a proper gun”. The gun went off and he was shot dead.

People who arrived at the scene shortly after said he was skilled with a gun and found it difficult to understand how he had shot himself.

Stuart Knight, chairperson of the community policing forum, said: “It’s believed that the guy shot himself while playing with his gun. He was very professional with a gun so it’s hard to believe he [shot himself accidentally].”

Knight said the man had loved guns.

“That guy was crazy over guns … apparently there were people there when he shot himself. When I arrived there, there were ambulances and local residents,” he said.

The man’s family declined to comment or identify him. “I am his father. I will not make any statement and I do not want anything in the paper,” said a man at the scene.

The man’s family cleaned up the area where the shooting happened and removed his belongings, including guns and knives. One of the patrons still at the scene commented on the number of weapons being removed, saying, “He had plenty of those. He liked playing with them. He would always pull these [guns] out to show off.”

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