THE brother of late former Miss Port Elizabeth Bianca-Anne Harper Agherdien was one of two suspected hijackers wounded in a shootout with police early yesterday.
A third suspect was hauled out from his hiding place under a taxi by police and also arrested.
Charlie Harper, 30, and a 17-year-old girl, believed to be his girlfriend, were shot during a high-speed chase following a hijacking in Humewood on Wednesday night.
They were allegedly driving in the hijacked car, which belonged to a Nelson Mandela Met- ropolitan University second-year nursing student.
The third suspect, Warren Rademeyer, 27, was arrested in Highfield Road after he jumped out of the vehicle when it stopped near a taxi rank and hid under a taxi.
They are all due to appear in court on Monday.
NMMU student Lauren Shovlin, 19, from the Free State, was hijacked while sitting in her blue Proton parked outside Belafatima flats on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Humewood Road.
A shocked Shovlin said yesterday: “It all happened so quickly and I honestly was, and still am, in shock.
“I was sitting in my car waiting for my friend outside her flat when a white car pulled up next to me.
“The next thing, my driver’s side door was opened and some guy was trying to pull me out of the car.
“I resisted and tried to close the door several times but he fought back and said in Afrikaans that he would kill me.
“I could see he was very nervous and the next thing he pulled out a firearm and shoved it into my abdomen.”
Shovlin said she had considered “putting foot” and speeding away but feared the man would shoot.
“I got out of the vehicle and started resisting but could see he was getting more agitated. He then pushed me up against the car,” Shovlin said.
“It was very scary and my heart was racing. He demanded the car keys and my cellphone. I gave him the car keys but refused to give him the cellphone.
“I managed to walk away with the phone and he then got in the car and drove off.
“I saw people in a nearby flat and went to them for help. I was so shocked, I could not even remember the police number,” she said.
The other two suspects were in the other car while the attack occurred.
Harper’s father, Denzyl, said his brother-in-law banged on their door at about 1am yesterday, telling them “there was a problem with Charlie”.
He said they were sent from pillar to post when they tried to find out where he was and how he was doing.
They eventually found him at the Mount Road police station where he was brought after being treated at Livingstone Hospital.
“Look, Charlie is no angel,” Denzyl said. “He’s a very naughty child and we have tried everything to try and rein him in. His behaviour is taking a toll on us, especially his mother.
“As parents, we try our best, but once a child leaves your house, you never know what he is up to. We are really hoping that he sees the light.”
Denzyl said he believed, from what Charlie told him yesterday, that he was in the car but not actively involved in the hijacking. He took to Facebook, asking people to “pray for this wild one”.
Harper’s arrest is a tough blow for the family which lost their daughter just three months ago. Bianca, 27, died in hospital in Port Elizabeth a few days after a horrific accident while en route from Rhodes University, where she was doing her pharmacy doctorate.
Meanwhile, the 17-year-old suspect is in a critical condition in hospital, where she is under police guard.
Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said a gunfight ensued between the police and the alleged hijackers after the student nurse’s vehicle was spotted by the Flying Squad.
“The suspects allegedly started shooting at police when they tried to stop them. A car chase ensued and police returned fire while calling for backup.”
The teenage suspect, who had been sitting in the back seat, was shot in the back, while the passenger was shot in the upper body.
The driver tried to flee.
“One man jumped out of the car when it came to a stop in Highfield Road and was found hiding under one of the taxis in the nearby taxi rank.
“At this stage, it is unknown what happened to the other vehicle which the suspects had arrived in before the hijacking.”
She said it was common for criminals to steal or hijack cars for use in the commission of other crimes such as house or business robberies.
“It is highly possible these individuals were en route to commit a crime and were intercepted by the police,” she said.
The police hijacking task team has been called in to assist with the investigation.
More charges are expected to follow.
– Gareth Wilson and Zandile Mbabela