Guard’s miracle escape

2014-05-12 00:00

A DURBAN senior reaction officer was yesterday recuperating in a general ward at Umhlanga hospital and took the time to reflect on how a bullet missed his spinal cord by two millimetres. Had the projectile, fired from an AK47, entered his body two millimetres to the right, the officer would have been paralysed.

The officer, who requested anonmity, drove himself to hospital.

The Marshall Security senior reaction officer was responding to a burglar alarm in Davallen Avenue, La Lucia, at about 6.30 pm on Friday. He said he had just started his shift at 5 pm and was in the Forest Drive area when he received the alert.

The robbers had confronted the homeowner, whom they had followed to her house from her shop in Umhlanga.

“As I pulled up the driveway to the house there was a blue luxury car, with a man standing next to it. Suddenly the man pointed the AK47 towards my car and started shooting. I ducked and reversed at the same time as the bullet hit the windscreen of the vehicle.

“Three more guys, also carrying AK47 rifles, emerged from the house, but I couldn’t see their faces because of the distance. The next moment I was hit in the right shoulder and the impact pushed me to the left, but I kept on driving,” said the man, speaking from his Netcare Umhlanga hospital bed.

He said there was a pool of blood in the car and as he battled to remain calm and focused, he contacted the control office, alerting them to his situation.

“As I was driving the luxury car followed me, riddling my car with bullets in the process. At the end of the road I turned left and they turned right. I drove straight to the hospital, thanks to my advanced driving lessons,” said the married father of a four-year-old boy.

Marshall Security’s Tyron Powell said the house was ransacked, and the woman, Tracy Liu, was not hurt, but very traumatised. Liu said yesterday the men shouted “money, money, money” as they pushed her into her house.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the Durban North police were investigating cases of armed robbery and attempted murder.

Homes in Durban North and La Lucia have been targeted in recent weeks by armed bandits.

Professor Johan Ras, a criminologist and acting head of the criminal justice department at the University of Zululand, said the spate of armed robberies and house break-ins in leafy suburbs of Durban was a wake-up call for residents in the areas to go for shooting lessons.

“The criminal mindset is that the suburbs are where the money is, and they know that residents rely on police and security companies. If 10 criminals pull off a job and get away with R1 million, they are likely to come back for more because the R100 000 share is not enough. To be on the safe side, go for firearm training and once you have the gun, exercise caution to ensure that it helps you, and not puts you in danger,” said Ras.

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