Police have confirmed that a man killed a homeowners’ association member‚ two neighbours and himself at a townhouse complex in Moreleta Park‚ east of Pretoria‚ on Wednesday afternoon.
Police spokesperson Captain Dave Miller said all the deceased were men in their mid-fifties.
Their names had not been officially released‚ but one of the victims is caretaker Edward Gobey‚ a husband and father of two. His daughter Charlize described him on Facebook as a person who had only ever wanted to help other people as she posted photographs of her father. Family and friends shared their condolences.
Miller said police were called in to on Wednesday afternoon after the alleged shooter threw stones at one of the resident’s vehicle.
A local newspaper‚ the Pretoria East Rekord‚ quoted residents of the complex as saying that an elderly neighbour confronted the culprit on Wednesday morning after he hurled a rock through the window of the woman’s car.
Gobey was called to the scene by another resident. Gobey and two other people were gunned down by the man‚ whom‚ EWN reported‚ had had numerous run-ins with the body corporate – the most recent of which was a dispute over a wall built without approval.
Miller said they were initial shootings occurred as police members and private security guards were in the process of establishing what happened.
Then “the suspect shot at the police members and the security guards who took cover”‚ he added.
Miller said a police negotiator‚ and members of the police’s Special Task Force arrived at the scene and contact was established with the two police members and three security guards being held hostage.
“A rescue plan was devised by the Special Task Force to rescue the police and the security guards.
“An armoured van drove next to the property and they were able to secure the release of two police members and three security guards. They were given treatment for shock‚ minor injuries and dehydration.”
The incident hostage drama started at 12.30 pm and they were only rescued at 7pm.
“Once they were retrieved‚ a second plan was formulated by the Special Task Force members to enter the premises of the suspect.”
Miller said the property was searched and a body of a man was discovered with a gunshot wound to the head.
“It is suspected the wound was self-inflicted. We have opened a case of three counts of murder as well as an inquest docket‚” Miller said. — TMG Digital