Armed-response guards targeted in shootings

A 50-year-old armed-response guard was fatally shot in the vicinity of Herschel Close, Claremont, on Saturday night.

One armed-response guard is dead and another is in hospital with multiple gunshot wounds after a bloody Saturday night in Claremont.

Three security officers were attacked – two of them were shot – on separate occasions within the space of an hour on the same night and the attackers, two men in a white VW GTI Polo, took all three officers’ guns, say police.

Claremont police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Marnus Fourie described the attackers as two coloured males dressed in casual clothes. The one was wearing a red top.

The trail of violence, according to police, started at 8.30pm, when the two men approached a security vehicle parked in Main Road, Wynberg, and accosted the National Security & Fire company guard sitting inside.

“The window of the vehicle was not fully closed, then the suspects threatened the armed guard with a gun, demanding his firearm, ammunition and cellphone,” said Wynberg police spokesman Captain Silvino Davids.

The guard was then told to leave the vehicle and run in the opposite direction.

Police believe the same two men went on to shoot a 38-year-old ADT guard in his vehicle as he patrolled Surrey Street, Harfield Village, at 9.20pm.

“The two males tried to force their way into the security vehicle, and then the one suspect shot through the door on the passenger side of the vehicle, hitting the guard on his side,” said Lieutenant Colonel Fourie.

The attackers took the officer’s firearm and drove off in their white VW GTI Polo.

The wounded officer managed to drive to Village Cafe, in 1st Avenue, Harfield Village, where he raised the alarm.

Police officers sped to the Village Cafe and were waiting for the ambulance to arrive when they heard of another shooting, which had happened at about 9.50pm near the abandoned Claremont Bowling Club, on the corner Herschel Close and Upper Bowwood Road.

There, Claremont police officers found a 50-year-old ADT guard lying on the ground outside his vehicle. He had been shot several times, and his firearm had been taken, said Lieutenant Colonel Fourie.

Ambulance medics declared the man dead at the scene.

The shooters are still at large, and police believe the same white VW GTI Polo was involved in all three attacks.

“We are deeply saddened by these attacks,” said Wahl Bartmann, the CEO of Fidelity Services Group. “We send our deepest condolences to the friends and family of our colleague who died and wish our second officer a speedy recovery. We will provide the police with our full cooperation to make sure that the attackers are found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The National Security & Fire company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ward councillor Katherine Christie said: “These men have families and are irreplaceable to their loved ones. Our Harfield Village residents and community-safety leaders work well with the ADT guard placed here and are shocked and grieved by the attacks.”

Claremont Community Police Forum chairman Abdul Kerbelker urged anyone with information to come forward.

Meanwhile, the Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID) is collecting money to support the families of the guards who were shot.

“The community wanted to get involved and the security company asked us to collect the funds on their behalf,” said HVCID vice chairperson Caryn Rawlings.

The HVCID has donated R5000 towards the cause and will be setting up a BackaBuddy account to support the families further.

“We truly appreciate the officers that patrol our streets and send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the officers and their families,” said Ms Rawlings.

Email admin @ hvcid.co.za if you want to contribute to the donation drive.

Claremont police chief Colonel Maree Louw said the case had been handed over to provincial police detectives for investigation.

Anyone with information can call Detective Warrant Officer Louise Witbooi at 079 894 0144, Detective Warrant Officer TK Tukwayo at 079 894 1564 or Crime Stop at 0860 10111.

Bullet holes in the passenger door of the armed-response vehicle that was fired on in Surrey Street, Harfield Village.