Reservist hero died 'with a smile on his face'

2011-06-17 08:45

Johannesburg – Four years ago he was grateful that hijackers missed when shooting him and that he could shoot two of them.

On Wednesday, criminals shot dead this police reservist hero, but he died with "a smile" on his face.

"When I got to him, he was smiling…had a grin on his face," said reservist constable Cliff Bond from the Honeydew police station on Thursday about the death of his commander, lieutenant colonel Marc Ishlove, 60, after a gunfight in Northcliff, Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

Ishlove and two criminals died in Wednesday’s gunfight after police noticed a suspicious Mercedes-Benz in Northcliff which sped away. Five suspects tried to flee on foot. One was caught at Northcliff Primary School, another committed suicide at a house nearby and another of the suspects and Ishlove died in a gunfight.

Another policeman, a warrant officer whose name was not yet made public, was shot in the right arm and was in a stable condition in hospital.

Ishlove made the front pages of newspapers in November 2007 when he saved Dr Elmarie Wypkema, a Wilgeheuwel Hospital gynaecologist, from being hijacked.

Wypkema stopped at Fir Drive shopping centre during her lunch hour to pick someone up, when two hijackers wanted to steal her Porsche Carrera.

Ishlove, then still a captain in the reservist force, sat at the Dam-a-tra restaurant and saw how the hijackers attacked Wypkema.

He shot dead one hijacker while he was sitting on Wypkema, demanding her ring, and shot the other who was behind the steering wheel.

At the time, he said he was lucky that the hijackers missed when they shot at him and that he didn’t miss.

Bond described Ishlove on Thursday as an experienced marksman who "played an inspired role among reservists and police members in the development of marksmanship as sport".

“We had talked a lot about death. I don't think he would have wanted to die without a fight. In the fight against criminals, you rather want to die while fighting back," said Bond.

Bond and Ishlove had been good friends and colleagues over the past six years.

Ishlove in 2008 was a finalist for the Debis award for hero of the year.

Bond informed Ishlove's two daughters, Marcia and Juliet, who lived overseas and were in their 30s, of their father's death on Wednesday night around midnight. They were expected back in the country soon.

Police spokesperson lieutenant colonel Lungelo Dlamini said on Thursday that the three suspects were expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg

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