UPDATE: (Graphic Content) Attempted hijacker killed at Leaping Frog

Police are looking for a suspect who broke into Edgars Red Square in Lonehill.

Update, 22 February 2017, 9.45pm

Leaping Frog Shopping Centre’s management team has confirmed that an attempted hijacking and shootout took place at the centre on the evening of 21 February.
“Police officers and [Netcare] paramedics were called to the scene to manage the investigation and [administer] medical [attention to] casualties,” said Zoe van Onselen, head of marketing for Fourways Precinct at Primedia Lifestyle.

“The incident did not involve the centre’s security personnel and is a civilian matter that the police are currently examining.”
Van Onselen was unable to comment on how the security changes at the centre either affected the incident or how the incident impacted the centre’s security.
“We, unfortunately, cannot, and will not comment on security-specific details due to confidentiality and the sensitivity around the matter. These details are not for public knowledge, thereby reducing the risk of the criminal element taking advantage of such knowledge,” she said.

Netcare paramedics found a man injured on the ground. According to eyewitnesses, a group of men had allegedly attempted to hijack a Range Rover vehicle outside the Banjaara restaurant in the centre when someone shot one of them, although this has not been officially confirmed as yet.

Attempted hijacker was shot dead

A Fourways resident who was present in the restaurant at the time of the shooting was able to provide an eyewitness account of the events to Fourways Review. The witness requested that he remain anonymous in order to protect his privacy and safety of himself and his family.
“It was my wife’s birthday so we were having dinner at Banjaara with a few friends. We were inside [the restaurant] when we heard shot after shot after shot [outside],” he said.
“We dropped to the floor as soon as we heard it. I counted 12 [gun] shots and my son counted 15.”
According to the witness’ understanding, a heavily pregnant woman in a Range Rover had just parked outside the restaurant to pick up a takeaway order.

“As she was walking away from the car, a hijacker approached her and attempted to take her car. Another patron, a man who had been sitting in the outside section of Banjaara, had saw what was going on.
“He [allegedly] shot the hijacker, firing two shots one of which hit [the hijacker] in the head and killed him.”

A second car, a pick-up truck, was behind the Range Rover and [allegedly] rammed into the hijacker’s getaway vehicle repeatedly, a black Audi A7, to stop the rest of the hijackers from fleeing the scene,” said the eyewitness.
“[The other hijackers] started firing at this man [in the pick-up truck] so that they could flee, which is why my son and I had heard so many shots. In the cross-fire shooting my friend’s car in the parking lot was hit by a stray bullet.

The Audi did eventually fled the scene and the pregnant woman was taken by paramedics to the nearest hospital as a precaution.
“It really wasn’t a pleasant experience. My son went to trauma counselling this morning to help him cope with such a horrible thing,” he concluded.

Initial Report, 21 February 2017 10pm

According to Netcare 911, at about 7pm on Tuesday evening paramedics were dispatched to a shooting incident outside the Leaping Frog centre just off William Nicol Road.

Reports from bystanders at the scene indicate that a man was trying to hijack cars when he was shot.

Exact detail to the incident however will form part of the South African Police investigation.

Paramedics arrived at the scene and found a man lying on the ground. Paramedics declared the man dead on their arrival.

According to a statement released by Netcare 911, paramedics treated a pregnant female at the scene who was severely traumatised by the shooting. They transported her to a nearby hospital for further care.

Robyn Kirk

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