Wild nights in Copesville

2013-07-17 00:00

THE fact that a Copesville woman put her cellphone low down in a cupboard overnight, may just have saved her life after a bullet whizzed through her bedroom window above her head as she bent to retrieve it.

The woman, from Sarge Road in Copesville, described how she was woken at 3 am yesterday by gunfire in her neighbourhood. She has asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.

“At first there were several shots. I thought they would stop, but there were more and more. I got up to get my phone to see what the time was, and as I bent down to get it out the cupboard, a shot hit the window near where I was crouching to reach for my phone.”

She said if she had been standing at the time, she could have been killed.

The woman said the bullet entered through the window and hit the wardrobe and the wall inside the room.

“I was frozen with terror. I was on the floor and I knew I had to stay down, although I wanted to run away. I was thinking, ‘Is there another one coming?’.”

She realised she should keep low and finally escaped through her bedroom door and entered her parents’ bedroom where she woke them up. She said her parents take medication and had not heard the shots at all.

“I shook them awake and told them about what had happened. We called the police, who came after 20 minutes.”

The woman said police told them that there was little they could do except patrol the area. “They said we live near an informal settlement. There were a lot of cars in the area and any one of them could have picked up the gunmen and taken them away. The police said there is a lot of electricity theft and burglary in the area. They didn’t take a statement. They looked at the shattered glass and did nothing about it. How can we sleep at night? You’re not even safe in your own home. That’s not on.”

Neighbours Fozia Kaliq and Dolly Daniels were up all night in terror. They said four men had been walking up and down the street and they had watched them through the window. “They tried to shoot my dog,” said Kaliq.

She added that in a similar past incident her daughter’s window was shot at.

Daniels, whose husband was stabbed to death in their house in 2006, said that her grandson was “shaking and screaming and could not calm down” due to the shots being fired just outside their house.

The neighbours said such incidents are a common occurrence and that gunfire can be heard in their neighbourhood every night.

“There are wild things here,” said Kaliq. “They steal our doors and fences but when the police come they duck into the bushes behind the houses. We don’t want to live here now because we are living in fear, but we have nowhere else to go.”

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan advised the family to open a case of damage to property. She confirmed that police had attended the scene. She said no locals know what transpired.

Brigadier Francis Bantham of the Mountain Rise police station appealed to community members to come forward with information about the firing of shots at night and to open cases that could be investigated.She said they would step up patrols in the area and increase visible policing.

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