Hostage drama: shots fired

2010-09-24 11:25

Members of a special task force fired several shots into a house situated at a Kempton Park suburb, where an elderly man was holding his son hostage for several hours after he shot him earlier today.

About five stun grenades were also set off shortly before 1pm.The man allegedly shot his wife earlier at their plush red face-brick home on Oscar Street in Birchleigh, which was now cordoned off with yellow tape.

“The wife escaped out of the house and was taken to hospital in a serious condition,” Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said. She sustained a gunshot wound in the neck and the son was shot a few times.

The son is believed to be in his late 30s and it was not known whether he was alive.

Earlier, a man who owns a neighbouring business to another belonging to the hostage taker, said he believed the incident was allegedly triggered by the elderly man being diagnosed with brain cancer and battling to come to terms with it.

“I am pretty sure the fact [that] he has brain cancer triggered the incident,” he told Sapa.

A few hours before the shots were fired, police were seen escorting three young children into the house.

It was not known who they were or if they were still inside.

Journalists, who had been camping outside the house, were moved further away from the scene when the task force arrived and took over the house.

Meanwhile, neighbours described the man as a “very nice person”.

“I know him, he is a nice person,” said a neighbour who did not wish to be named.

Another said what was happening “was very sad, and she was not used to situations like this”.

“We are not used to this type of thing happening in this area,” she said. “We don’t know what is going on.”

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