Hijacking target fights back

2013-10-05 00:00

“IT’s a terrible thing to have killed a person. That’s somebody’s child … somebody’s son. But I had no choice. They cocked a gun at me, grabbed my watch and said ‘car, car’. In a split second, I pulled out my gun. But the message must get out there that people who come to hijack us must know there are going to be consequences as we are not going to sit back.”

Those were the words of a calm, 58-year-old businessman, Brian Calitz, who yesterday morning shot and killed a would-be hijacker who had confronted him at his gate in Neden Road, Montrose, Pietermaritzburg.

The killing has rocked the quiet suburb.

Calitz, dressed in a formal shirt and pants, had returned to his home at about 10.30 am yesterday to drop off gardening equipment when he was confronted by the two men. He was sitting in his Toyota Prius Hybrid electric car when the men struck.

“I saw from the side of my eye, these two guys come up to me and I said to them in Zulu that I had no work for them. That’s when they grabbed at my watch and asked for the car. I knew I had to do something because they would never have been able to start the car (it being a hybrid) and things could have gotten bad for me. I think they thought I was reaching into my pocket to give them the car keys but I was taking out my gun. If I had not shot at them it was clear that something worse was going to happen,”said Calitz.

Demonstrating to Weekend Witness and the police how he pulled out his firearm in a split second, the military-trained Calitz said he always kept a firearm in his pocket after he was a crime victim seven years ago.

“If you own a firearm, you must be trained to use it. And if you are confronted in such a situation, you must not hesitate to use it. It’s in that moment that you pause, that you can lose it all,” said Calitz.

A neighbour said he had noticed a white Nissan bakkie driving around in the area earlier on.

“I saw the bakkie with three men and then saw two men jump out. Then I saw Brian come, and before I could do anything, the guy was there at his car with a firearm in his hand. They grabbed him but he shot at them. One ran up the road and got away and the other one ran down the road but fell shortly thereafter,” said the neighbour.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said an inquest and an attempted hijacking case were being investigated. He said two cellphones and a large undisclosed amount of cash were found on the deceased.

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