WATCH | Outside the bloody Melville shooting scene: 'Gunshots sounded like fireworks'

2020-01-01 19:14
Scenes from outside Poppy's in Melville. (Sharlene Rood, News24)

Scenes from outside Poppy's in Melville. (Sharlene Rood, News24)

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A Paramedic and eyewitness described the scene outside popular restaurant Poppy's after two women were shot dead in a drive-by shooting.

A paramedic told News24 sister publication Netwerk24 a "gruesome" scene awaited them when they arrived in Melville in the early hours of Wednesday.

READ: Poppy's restaurant owner expresses shock over fatal drive-by shooting in Melville

Richard-Kyle Jackson from Emer-G-Med said four people, including the women, were lying on the pavement.

Two other injured people were by the bar, while two others were lying at the back of the restaurant.

He said both women had been shot in the head as "if someone had aimed at them".

"I started seeing people falling down ... people screaming"

Jackson said the first woman was already dead when they arrived on the scene, while the second woman died shortly after paramedics started working on her. 

Sipho Molaola, a car guard who witnessed the shooting, told News24 an altercation broke out before the shoot out. "[F]rom a fight it went to a gun shot ... to people losing their lives".

He said he was assisting a person to park when the fatal gun shots went off.

"I thought it was a cracker; and then I thought no, that is no cracker because I started seeing people falling down ... people screaming, running around.

"Then I saw a car passing by fast."

According to Gauteng police, a BMW SUV apparently drove past the restaurant just after 01:00 and fired shots at the patrons sitting outside, according to News24.

No arrests have been made.

Scenes from outside Poppy's in Melville. (Sharlene Rood, News24)

Actor and singer Mortimer Williams is among the six people who were wounded in the shooting.

He told Netwerk24 that he thought it was fireworks going off when they shooting started. He is currently being treated at Helen Joseph hospital after he was hit in the liver. He also has a fracture on his hip.

The owner of Poppy's has expressed shock at the tragedy that unfolded outside her premises in the early hours of New Year's Day, News24 earlier reported. 

"Poppy's restaurant owner experienced the most tragic event outside her restaurant...Two people who were standing outside her restaurant were shot and killed in a drive-by shooting," the restaurant said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.

'Deeply saddened by heart-rending incident'

"Poppy's management and staff are deeply saddened by this heart-rending incident and send their deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased."

The restaurant said it would remain closed until further notice as police continued their investigations.

In a statement issued on Wednesday the  Melville Resident’s Association (MRA) and Melville Security Initiative (MSI) once again appealed to authorities to ensure that Melville feels safe and that a similar incident does not happen again. 

"Over the past few years, our community has fallen victim to poor policing and poor bylaw enforcement by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the City of Johannesburg.

"After repeated appeals by the MSI and the MRA to authorities such as the Gauteng Liquor Board, they have still not addressed well known issues in our community such as establishments operating outside of their allocated trading hours, crowd control, selling liquor without the appropriate licenses, or the granting of operating licenses in close proximity to schools," the statement read. 

It offered its sincere condolences to the families of those who had lost loved ones in the shooting.

- Compiled by Vanessa Banton with additional reporting by Sharlene Rood

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime
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