Farmer shot in the face by teen

2016-04-29 11:34

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Pietermaritzburg - A farmer had to receive emergency surgery after he was shot in the face by a 16-year-old suspect during a robbery at his Creighton farm.

The teenager is in custody and his two accomplices are still on the run.

The farmer, Andrew Gibbs, came face to face with the robbers after returning home from fetching his children.

It is believed the teenager used Gibbs’s firearm to attack him, opening fire on the 57-year-old farmer.

Gibbs was shot once in the cheek but still managed to wrestle with his attacker with his employees coming to his aid, eventually leading to the teenager’s arrest.

Gibbs was yesterday due to undergo surgery and is believed to be in a stable condition.

According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane, Gibbs was attacked on his Braeside Farm near Donnybrook on Wednesday afternoon.

Zwane said the three robbers’ identities are now known to the police and the hunt is on for the remaining two men.

“It is alleged by the complainant [Gibbs] that he left his house with the door unlocked and went to attend a cycle tournament. When he returned he noticed that the suspects were inside his home. The suspects saw the victim and opened fire, wounding him on the face,” Zwane said.

“The complainant alerted his workers who came to his rescue and caught a 16-year-old juvenile. Two suspects managed to flee the scene. The suspect was taken to hospital after he was allegedly assaulted by members of the community and will appear in court soon for attempted murder.”

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Gibbs’s brother, Billy, said Gibbs went to fetch his children from the cycling tournament and upon his return, found the three men in his home.

Billy said the bullet that pierced his brother’s cheek fractured his jaw and he was undergoing surgery to have the bone repaired.

“They [the attackers] continued shooting at [Gibbs] as he ran through the house. He managed to wrestle down the shooter as the others fled the house,” Billy said.

Billy said Gibbs’s family are having counselling, as his children witnessed the attack from the car.

“He [Gibbs] is much better now and we as a family are here at the hospital to support him. We are thankful that he survived,” Billy said yesterday.

General manager of the Creighton Farmers’ Agency Jenelea Holmes said she is shocked that the incident occurred in “broad daylight” and that the entire farming society in the area sends their good wishes to Gibbs and his family.

“We all went to the farm as a community after the shooting. A year or two ago, we had a serious incident in Umzimkhulu and a series of smaller attacks in the area since then,” Holmes said.

Holmes said farmers in the area are “shaken up” after Wednesday’s incident and have put in place extra security measures to protect themselves and their families.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

EARLIER this week, a breakthrough was made in the murder of a farming family in Glückstadt when the culprit who allegedly murdered William James van Rooyen (37) and Lodewyk van Rooyen (76) was arrested.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Major Shooz Magudulela yesterday said that a task team from Ulundi Cluster made a breakthrough when they arrested the man (33), who is suspected to be linked to the farm attack that happened last week.

The man was arrested in the Vryheid area on Tuesday this week and the vehicle suspected to be used in the crime was recovered.

Magudulela said the police are still “working hard” on tracing the outstanding suspects who were part of the gang.

On April 19 at about 8.30 pm, three people were in their Glückstadt farm house near Vryheid when they were attacked by a group of men.

They were shot at and sustained serious gunshot wounds.

The men stole an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing the property.

William James van Rooyen died on his way to hospital and Lode­wyk van Rooyen died later that night.

The third person survived the attack. — Witness Reporter.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  farm attack

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