Stand-off with po­lice ends in sui­cide

Cape Times - - NEWS - San­diso Phal­iso san­diso.phal­[email protected]

THE younger sis­ters of Michael Volk­wyn are un­happy that po­lice did not al­low them to talk to him be­fore he shot and killed him­self yes­ter­day, fol­low­ing a 14-hour stand-off with the po­lice in Hazen­dal, Athlone.

Volk­wyn’s sis­ters, Diana Wil­liams and Bar­bara Volk­wyn, felt that if they had been given the op­por­tu­nity to talk to their brother, they would have con­vinced him to hand him­self over to the po­lice.

Po­lice spokesper­son Fred­er­ick van Wyk said the drama be­gan when SPCA mem­bers, ac­com­pa­nied by law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, went to Volk­wyn’s house in Al­ber­marle Road on Tues­day evening to re­move his 14 dogs.

He said the SPCA’s ac­tions fol­lowed a com­plaint by a ten­ant who resided in an apart­ment on Volk­wyn’s prop­erty, who claimed that Volk­wyn’s dogs had at­tacked her.

Van Wyk said the com­plainant opened a case at the Athlone po­lice sta­tion and the po­lice were or­dered to re­move the dogs.

Upon ar­riv­ing at the scene at around 6.30pm on Tues­day, said Van Wyk, “we asked to en­ter the place and the dogs at­tacked our mem­bers, and the sus­pect fired a shot that hit one of the po­lice­men in the face, be­fore lock­ing him­self in­side the house”.

Van Wyk said an at­tempted mur­der case had been opened for in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the wounded po­lice­man was be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal.

Yes­ter­day, Volk­wyn’s brother Roy, who had flown from Jo­han­nes­burg to the scene, was given the op­por­tu­nity to speak to his brother, said Van Wyk.

Roy ne­go­ti­ated with Volk­wyn for about two hours yes­ter­day to come out of the house, but he wasn’t able to con­vince his brother to sur­ren­der.

Van Wyk said the Tech­ni­cal Re­sponse Team unit, armed with au­to­matic weapons, then moved into the house and a few min­utes later two shots were fired. Paramedics rushed in­side and de­clared Volk­wyn dead.

“Two shots were fired and the 61-year-old de­ceased lay on the floor. He shot him­self,” said Van Wyk, who re­fused to elab­o­rate about the first shot that had been fired.

The dis­tressed

fam­ily mem­bers blamed the po­lice for the drama that un­folded.

“We be­lieve we’ve been robbed of a life. We wanted to say ‘Michael, we are here’. We told the po­lice we know him bet­ter and he would lis­ten to us, but they re­fused.

“They claim they know his his­tory but they don’t, we know him bet­ter. My brother Roy’s ne­go­ti­a­tions (with po­lice) failed.

“We asked if we could just speak over the mega­phone to say we are here, we love him, and they came back and said they can’t do that.

“I be­lieve we’ve been robbed of a hu­man right be­cause we knew he wasn’t com­ing out,” said Diana Wil­liams, one of the sis­ters at the scene.

Bar­bara Volk­wyn said the po­lice re­fused to al­low her to speak to Michael yes­ter­day.

Be­fore the po­lice went into the house, Bar­bara said: “I want to speak to my brother and they are re­fus­ing.

“I know for a fact he is not com­ing out. Once they move in, they’ll kill him. We want to talk to him be­fore they move in.”

Pic­tures: BREN­TON GEACH

MOV­ING IN: The po­lice team en­ter Michael Volk­wyn’s house in num­bers with au­to­matic weapons. One had been shot ear­lier by Volk­wyn.

DIS­TRESSED SIB­LINGS: Roy Volk­wyn com­forts his sis­ters, Bar­bara Volk­wyn and Diana Wil­liams, af­ter hear­ing their brother Michael had shot and killed him­self.

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