Homeowner shoots back at robbers

2014-06-13 10:02
9mm gun. ( <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Shutterstock</a>)

9mm gun. ( Shutterstock)

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Jeff Wicks, The Witness

Durban - A Westville homeowner brought a violent house robbery to an abrupt end on Thursday when he opened fire on three armed men, badly wounding one of them.

As the men grappled with his domestic worker and tried to push her through a balcony door, Dr Zazi Mjiyako’s well-placed shot wounded one gunman who had already raised his weapon.

The felled man was scooped up by his cohorts who fled, leaving a trail of blood in their wake.

'Hysterical screams'

Mjiyako and his family have been repeated victims of crime, recording 11 burglaries and robberies at their Duncan Drive home that now boasts raised walls, razor wire and a hi-tech alarm system.

Mjiyako said he had been startled by the sound of screaming as he lay watching television in bed.

“I just heard these hysterical screams from my maid who had been outside. I jumped out of bed and then my son screamed for me to press the panic button. The first thing I thought to do was grab my firearm and see what was happening,” he said.

In an adrenaline daze, Mjiyako fumbled for his handgun inside a lock-up safe.

“I ran down the passage and saw that there were two guys outside and I saw one with something in his hand, I think it was a gun.

Shot

“There was a scuffle going on as they were trying to force her [the domestic worker] inside. I just fired one shot and they ran off. I then saw a third man run past the window. Her screams continued,” he added.

“When I saw them all I thought about was my family. These guys were bold and I feared for what they would do,” he said.

A neatly fractured hole in the glass window and spots of blood on an outside staircase were all the evidence that remained of the family’s near brush with danger.

The domestic worker had been washing clothes when she noticed three men who had jumped over a wall, hopping the fence from the house next door.

“Because of all the burglaries I have raised my perimeter walls as high as they can go,” said Mjiyako.

“I have put broken bottles on top and installed all these alarm beams and still it continues. Robbers have raided my home countless times. The frequency of the incidents here is increasing.

“It all happened in seconds. To be honest I reached and missed my firearm a couple of times. In my haste I couldn’t even remember where the panic button was,” the flustered doctor said.

Trail of blood

A police source, who could not be named because he is not authorised to speak to the press, said that officers followed the fresh trail of blood.

“Dog unit officers followed the trail of blood that was left behind until they came to a river. They are going to clinics and hospitals now to try and find this suspect,” he said.

Neighbour LaRoy Dunster said that screams had reverberated through the quiet neighbourhood.

“I heard people screaming and I came out and pressed my panic button. My maid went to the fence to see what was happening and she saw a man running down the driveway with a gun in his hands.”

She lamented that the suburb had been beset by criminals.

“In the morning on this busy road you have all the people trying to get to work and all of a sudden they are confronted by armed thugs. I am very concerned about this and something needs to be done,” she said.

“Why should people be subjected to things like this? It is deplorable.”

Read more on:    durban  |  crime
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