Woman kidnaps girl, shoots at police

2009-12-21 00:00

A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl was freed by police yesterday after her 26-year-old mother took her hostage at gunpoint, shooting at police who attended the scene in Pinetown.

Police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said the stand-off, which saw police negotiators, task force members and paramedics crowd the Crompton Street block of flats, began at around 8 am.

“The neighbours had called police after they heard a lot of noise coming from the flat. The mother threatened to shoot anyone who tried to interfere.

“Police hostage negotiators tried to reason with the mother as police contingency teams waited nearby.”

Mdunge said the woman fired several shots at police who surrounded the premises.

He said after many attempts to persuade the mother to release the girl and surrender the firearm, the task team penetrated the home and overpowered her, removing the firearm and bringing the girl to safety. No one was injured.

“The nine-year-old was in a state of shock and is receiving counselling, after which she will be released to her relatives,” said Mdunge yesterday.

He said investigators were still trying to uncover the reason for the woman’s behaviour.

“After questioning she will possibly be charged with kidnapping and possession of an unlicensed firearm.”

Netcare911 spokesman Jeff Wicks said the woman sustained a minor laceration to her hand.

He said members of the elite Police Special Task Force, heavily armed and clad in camouflage ballistic gear, entered the flat complex while a hostage negotiator of the Police search and rescue unit tried to reason with the woman.

Paramedics treated the woman before she was arrested.

Mdunge asked the media not to reveal the name of the block of flats, as he said this could reveal the identity of the child.

He said the mother will appear in court in Pinetown today.

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