July 30 2008 at 08:10AM
A Pretoria man was shot in the head execution-style while trying to defend his parents from a gang of heavily armed robbers.
Twenty-six-year-old Andre Bam of Doornpoort was shot at point-blank range when he came running from his bedroom during the early hours of Tuesday morning after he was woken up by his parents' hysterical pleas for mercy.
The murder comes after Bam's mother and father, Veronica and Christiaan, recently moved to Pretoria from their Free State farm, apparently because of the crime situation there and to be closer to their children.
Neighbours on Tuesday told the Pretoria News that the couple, who are in their 50s, had moved to Pretoria because of safety concerns for themselves and their children.
The attack comes as police sources revealed that there had been an increase in the number of violent house robberies in the Doornpoort area during the past month.
The gunmen, who were armed with an assortment of handguns, broke into the family's Sand Vygie Street home through a window at about 2am and made their way to the main bedroom where Bam's parents were asleep.
It is believed that Veronica Bam was woken up and began screaming when she spotted the men standing over them.
Her husband, who woke up because of the screams, is believed to have pleaded with the gunmen to leave the family alone and take what they wanted.
He was shot four times and critically injured.
Information given to the Pretoria News indicates that the gunman who killed Andre, was waiting next to his bedroom door and shot him as he ran out to help his critically injured father and his mother.
It is not known how Veronica managed to escape after being shot by the gunmen, who fled empty handed moments after shooting her husband and son.
Neighbour Tania de Wet said she was asleep when a hysterical Veronica telephoned them pleading for help.
She said what had happened was horrible.
"Crime is out of control here. There does not seem to be an end to the attacks. They just carry on and on," she said.
A paramedic, who confirmed that Andre had died at the scene, said Christiaan was in a critical condition in Netcare Akasia Hospital.
Hospital spokesperson Ben Rood said Bam had undergone surgery and was in the intensive care unit.
"Although he is still in a critical condition, he is stable," he said.
Sinoville police station spokesperson Mirna Von Benecke said no arrests had been made and that nothing had been taken during the attack.
Anyone with information on the identity of the attackers can contact Sinoville police station detective branch at 012 543 0800.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on July 30, 2008