Father kills two daughters

2013-07-19 00:00

A FATHER from Alberton yesterday ambushed and shot his ex-wife and two teenage daughters before they could get on a bus that would have taken them to school. The two girls died and his ex-wife is wounded but stable.

Paul Nothnagel (45), a circulation manager at Beeld, went to his car after the shooting and shot himself in the head.

He shot Linda, his ex-wife, at close range as she stopped at a T-junction in Alberton just after 6 am. Linda was on her way to drop Chane (18) and Mischke (14) Nothnagel at a bus stop to go to their school, the Helpmekaar College in Johannesburg.

“I heard the shots and when I looked over the wall I saw the car with all its doors open standing at the stop street. The woman was screaming,” said Bernard Karusseit, the caretaker at a townhouse complex.

Linda and her daughters lived in a neighbouring complex.

Karusseit and his son, Jean-Henri, jumped in their car and raced to the scene of the shooting.

“A BMW had already stopped and a man was lifting the older girl from the front seat. The woman was lying on the sidewalk on the grass. My son and I lifted the other girl [Mischke] from the back seat. She still had her school bag on her back.

“They were bleeding a lot. The other man and I decided we could not wait for an ambulance. He left with the older girl and my son held the young girl as I raced [to the hospital].

“On the way, we came across a police car and told them to help us get to the hospital. I prayed all the way. Her pulse was weak and her breath very shallow. We were covered in blood. At the hospital we handed her to a doctor,” said Karusseit.

Netcare 911 took Linda to the Unie hospital. Vian de Villiers, spokesperson for the hospital, confirmed last night that she was in a stable condition.

Karusseit only learned from Beeld yesterday afternoon that Mischke had died shortly after arriving at the Netcare Union hospital in Alberton. In a shocked voice he said: “I cannot believe it. She was very quiet in the car. It was terrible. We were covered in her blood.”

Nothnagel shot his oldest daughter four times and his younger daughter Mischke and ex-wife twice before he calmly walked to his car that was parked some 100 m away. After climbing into his car he shot himself in the right temple. The round went through his head and exited through the left-rear passenger window.

Eye witnesses said a man was also waiting behind a tree on the same corner on Wednesday. It is suspected that it was Nothnagel who had arrived too late to ambush his family.

On Wednesday afternoon, Nothnagel answered a Facebook entry from Chane to tell her things can change quickly. Chane had posted that one had to appreciate things while one had them.

Linda’s first husband, Pieter Myburg, and her son from this marriage, Kobus, visited her in hospital.

People from Alberton were placing flowers at the scene of the murders. Nothnagel’s brother Riaan also visited the scene, but did not want to speak about the incident.

Shocked and saddened friends yesterday described Nothnagel as a “wonderful friend”, and “a family man” who “loved his daughters”.

The Nothnagels recently got divorced. Renier van Wyk, circulation manager at City Press and an old friend of Nothnagel, said he had struggled to move past this setback.

“He told me how he still loved Linda and that he struggled to start his day without his family.”

Mark Vlaming, a colleague at Media24, said Nothnagel had recently suffered a series of misfortunes. He started working for Media24 in May, but two companies he consulted to before still owed him money. In June, someone crashed into his car and drove off and the next day an electric gate closed on the same car.

“His family was the light of his life and he had tried to fix things between him and Linda … Then he discovered that she was seeing someone new. It was in this time that he started saying he wondered if he should not just end it all.”

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