Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Ex-rugby player shot dead

30/07/2008 10:03 - (SA)

Virginia Keppler, Beeld

Pretoria - A former Griffons rugby player has been shot dead during a failed robbery at his parents' home in Pretoria.

André Bam, 26, presumably rushed to help his parents.

He and his father Chris, originally of Koppies in the Free State, were shot three times at a house in Doornpoort in Pretoria North.

Chris and his wife Veronica, 54, were attacked at about 02:10 on Tuesday morning, while they were sleeping.

'They're attacking us!'

Veronica shouted over the phone to her neighbour, "They're attacking us! Come and help!" after her son and husband were shot.

The couple moved to Pretoria in February to be close to their four children.

The robbers broke a window at the back of the house and bent open the burglar bars.

Raymond Harris, 39, who is married to Chris and Veronica's daughter Adél, 32, said his parents-in-law woke with a fright when the attackers entered their room.

"They punched my father-in-law while he lay sleeping in bed. He said to them, 'Don't shoot! Don't Shoot! Take whatever you want.'"

Raymond said Chris was trying to get up when the robbers shot him.

"They shot him in the left thigh, hip and groin. My father-in-law then just sat down on the bed while they flashed torch lights into his eyes. There was nothing he could do."

Raymond said that André woke from the shots.

"He sleeps in the room right next to his parents' and when he ran, probably to help them, they shot him in the head."

André died in the house. Chris was admitted to Acacia Hospital in Pretoria where he underwent surgery on Tuesday.

'They didn't steal anything'

The Bam's neighbour Herbie de Wet said that Veronica had phoned him shortly after the shooting.

"I reacted immediately and jumped over their wall to gain access to their property but the robbers were already gone.

"The tannie was terribly shocked. To think that they didn't steal anything, not even a teaspoon, but now someone is dead," Herbie said.

Raymond said the robbers had wanted to steal the Bam's car "but I think the robbery went so wrong that they had to flee just like that".

Police spokesperson Mirna von Benecke said the police are investigating the incident and that no one has been arrested yet.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made for André.


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