50 shots at ceiling

2015-08-25 10:10
A wall splattered with blood below a gaping hole in the ceiling where two Copesville men tried to escape gunmen on Sunday night.

A wall splattered with blood below a gaping hole in the ceiling where two Copesville men tried to escape gunmen on Sunday night. (Amil Umraw)

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Pietermaritzburg - Why Mdu Mathunsi was killed is not yet known.

But the determination of his killers to see him dead was evident in the more than 50 spent shells found at the scene, the result of shooting that went on for about 15 minutes on Sunday night, according to witnesses.

Police described the bloody Copesville murder scene as “something out of a horror movie”.

Officers responded to distress calls from Alabaster Drive residents just after midnight. At the modest home they found half-a-dozen empty beer bottles standing upright on a floor drenched in blood, with splatters across the walls of one room and more dripping from bullet holes in the ceiling.

Mathunsi was dead, his body curled up in the ceiling where he had fled to hide from his killers. The man he had recently moved in with sustained four bullet wounds to his right leg.

It is believed the two were drinking in their kitchen when men armed with high-powered assault rifles kicked down the front door.

The survivor, who would not be named, said they suddenly heard banging on the front door.

“Police, this is the police. Open up,” the man said, mimicking the shouting that accompanied the banging.

He and Mathunsi, who neighbours said was a Greytown man who had been living at the house for two weeks, fled into the ceiling when they saw the gunmen’s torches shining through the kitchen window.

Three men then kicked open the door, entered the house and, upon hearing scuffling in the ceiling, shouted for the men to come down.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese said the man shot in the leg was entering the ceiling when he was shot and fell to the floor.

Ngobese said the man pleaded for his life and, when asked where Mathunsi was hiding, he pointed to the ceiling.

“They shone the torch light in my eyes. They kept asking for him [Mathunsi] and I pointed to the ceiling,” the man said. The gunmen then opened fire, spraying more than 50 bullets into the ceiling.

“I could hear him [Mathunsi] gasping and struggling for air. That is when I knew he was dying,” the man said.

The gang then ran towards the Haniville area and the wounded man was rushed to Northdale Hospital soon afterwards.

Neighbours said the gunfire had continued for about 15 minutes.

“The shots only stopped when we could hear the gun cock again. We just huddled together and waited for it to be over. I am still traumatised,” one neighbour said.

Police sources said Mathunsi had been struck by several bullets.

Ngobese said police found more than 50 R5, AK47 and 9 mm pistol cartridges at the scene.

One ceiling panel had about 20 bullet holes.

Ngobese said the motive for the killing is unknown and no arrests have been made.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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