An elderly St Francis Bay woman shot and killed one of two intruders (blacks) in her home early yesterday after they broke into her house and held her hostage. Police said the 72-year-old was assaulted and robbed at about 3am by the men, who were armed with a screwdriver and knife. The attackers gained entry by breaking a window and opening a sliding door. Warrant Officer Marianette Olivier said the woman had heard a noise inside the house just before the men stormed her bedroom and attacked her. “They confronted her, tied her hands behind her back and blindfolded her, demanding bank cards and pin numbers,” Olivier said. “One of the robbers allegedly took her Mercedes-Benz and drove to a nearby ATM, where he withdrew an undisclosed amount of money. While he was drawing the money, his accomplice remained behind in the house.”
The nearest ATM is at a local shopping centre about 2km from her home. During the time that the robber was at the ATM, the woman managed to untie herself when the other attacker left the room. In a panic, she grabbed her 38 special revolver. “The suspect saw her with the firearm and allegedly ran towards her in an attempt to stab her,” Olivier said. “According to her, she then fired three shots at him, but only two hit him.” The wounded attacker, whose identity is not known to the police, died at the scene. “His accomplice returned to the house only minutes later and found him dead and her with a firearm,” Olivier said. “In a hasty escape, he jumped out of the MercedesBenz and ran away without attempting to confront her.” The woman was taken to relatives in nearby Oyster Bay as she was suffering from shock and feared the other robber would return. “She is very traumatised by the incident and still in shock,” Olivier said. “Her doctor was called to the house shortly after the attack and treated her at the scene. We have spoken to the family and at this stage they do not want to talk to the media.” Police refused to divulge the woman’s name, saying she was now part of a criminal investigation. Many residents in St Francis Bay remained unaware of the attack and were alerted only after The Herald spoke to various home and business owners in the area.
Neighbour Andy Nosworthy said he had been unaware of the incident, but said he had wakened at about 3am after his dogs “went mad”. “I got up when I heard the dogs barking and turned all the outside lights on,” Nosworthy said. “I saw nothing and went back to bed. Only in the morning did I see that one of our cars in the driveway had been broken into and the radio face was on the ground.” Nosworthy said he suspected the attackers had been frightened when they heard the dogs and then scaled the fence into the woman’s yard. Her property is relatively unprotected, with only a low wall surrounding the house. Her son-inlaw, who owns a guesthouse in St Francis Bay, only a few kilometres from where the attack occurred, was tight-lipped about the attack, but said she was doing well. “She defended herself and is a very brave woman to have done that.”
“We need more people who are not intimidated by criminals,” he said. “She is resting at the moment, so understand that she does not want to talk.” A case of murder and robbery is being investigated, but the woman has not been charged. “She is in shock at the moment and once she calms down, detectives will take her statement and take it from there,” Olivier said. “Once we have all the details we will take the documents to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on what further action should be taken. “At this stage it appears she acted in self defence, but the investigation will reveal all the details.” The woman’s car was impounded by police so forensic experts could obtain fingerprints and evidence to help identify the robbers.
Source : The Herald Online