Mystery shr ouds death in pub
‘Gun crazy’ club owner shoots himself
THE o wner of a popular Ashburt on club died in a tragic shooting accident yesterday.
The 44yearold businessman apparently shot himself in the P ope Ellis Drive pub with his o wn gun.
There w ere c onflicting r eports of how the fatal shot came to be fired. One version was that the man shot himself while cleaning his gun.
The other was that he killed himself in a R ussian r oulette demons tration.
Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said they were investigating the circumstances around the incident; the man’s full name was not released yesterday as the polic e said the y did not ha ve it.
It is alleged that patrons at the club were apparently playing a sort of R ussian r oulette with a BB gun — a t ype of pellet gun.
The businessman, who was also the barman, allegedly drew his own firearm and made a c omment to the eff ect of “I will sho w you how to play Russian roulette with a pr oper gun”. T he gun went off and he w as shot dead.
People w ho arri ved at the sc ene shortly after said he was skilled with a gun and found it difficult to understand how he had shot himself .
Stuart Knight, chairper son of the community policing f orum, said: “It’ s believed that the guy shot himself while playing with his gun. He was very professional with a gun so it’s hard to believe he [ shot himself ac cidentally].” Knight said the man had loved guns. “That guy was crazy over guns … apparently there were people there when he shot himself. When I arri ved there, there were ambulances and local r esidents,” he said.
The man’s f amily declined t o c omment or identify him. “I am his father. I will not make any statement and I do not want anything in the p aper,” said a man at the sc ene.
The man’s family cleaned up the area where the shooting happened and r emoved his belonging s, including guns and knives. One of the p atrons still at the sc ene c ommented on the number of weapons being removed, saying, “He had plent y of those. H e lik ed pla ying with them. He would always pull these [guns] out t o sho w off .” FRUSTRATED motorists were stuck in traffic for hours yesterday after an abnormal truck lost its load on the N3 northbound jus t out side Piet ermaritzburg.
To c ompound their frus trations, the R103 soon became gridlocked too.
Yesterday traffic was backed up all the way to the Umlaas Road offramp and mot orists had t o endur e the scorching Piet ermaritzburg heat while the r oad was closed t o salvage the lo ad.
One frus trated mot orist w as former tr affic head in Piet ermaritzburg, James Mills. “During our time when there were such incidents there was a speed y r esponse,” he said.
Mills said w hen there is an emer gency traffic officers should be out in their numbers to inform motorists of what is happening and also t o divert traffic.
“Officers need t o effectively communicate with r oad user s t o ensur e that people are aware of what is happening so that the y can mak e other arrangements,” he said.
Mills said during their time the y had an N3 incident manual t o assist officers in a pr ogramme of action t o take when ther e was an emer gency.
He said offic ers should think ho w they would f eel if the y f ound themselves in a similar situation.
RTI spok esperson Zinhle Mng omezulu said they had to close the road because a truck accident had blocked the r oad.
“Our officers did their be st under extremely hot c onditions di verting the smaller v ehicles and lea ving the trucks t o ensur e that ther e w as a smooth flo w of tr affic,” she said.
She said it was easy to blame officers, but people don’ t under stand their work.
The road was cleared four hours later. • thob firstname.lastname@example.org
The club in Ashburton where the owner sho t himself