Gunman injured in shootout

2011-03-11 00:00

A 22-YEAR-OLD man was shot in the head, leg and chest after he allegedly fired shots at the police in Howick on Wednesday evening.

It is alleged that the man, whose identity is unknown, was seen to be firing randomly outside Howick High School in Greendale Park at about 7 pm.

About 30 minutes later police arrived and more shooting ensued.

A local resident, Bradly Banks, said he was at a play rehearsal at the school when he heard a loud bang.

“Not the sort associated with a gun, but loud enough to cause people to turn their heads in the direction of the noise. A minute later there were more sporadic shots from the same source [probably a small-calibre handgun],” he said.

He said he also heard someone, who sounded “drunk or disturbed”, shouting before he heard three more shots. Another resident, Mark Houston, reported the matter to the police. They both went out to investigate.

“But as we were standing outside the hall we heard a volley of large-calibre ammunition and what sounded like policemen.

“We then approached the fence where we saw the suspect on the ground. He was not dead but seriously wounded,” he said.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said members of the Pietermaritzburg dog unit attended to the shooting. She said they found the man still wielding the firearm, and instead of following an instruction to put it down, he fired shots towards the officers.

“Police were forced to retaliate and returned fire, seriously wounding him in the head, leg and chest. They immediately radioed for assistance and contacted the ambulance services. He was immediately taken via ambulance to Northdale Hospital under police guard.”

She said that next to the man there was a .22 pistol, and he was in possession of several rounds of ammunition.

She said police later established that the firearm was licensed, but did not belong to the suspect.

The man, who police established to be from France township near Imbali, was later transferred to a Durban hospital.

She has appealed to anyone with information to call Captain Subba Naidoo of the Howick detective services at 033 239 9330 or 082 411 6535.

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