March 24 2009 at 08:43AM
A Pretoria businessman has died after being shot several times by armed robbers who attacked him and his wife.
According to police, 48-year-old John Cooper died in his bedroom. His wife, who was assaulted by the attackers, was taken to hospital.
Paramedics rescued the couple's Rottweiler after it was poisoned by the attackers.
Police spokesperson Captain Bonginkosi Msimango said Cooper, the owner of Westend trailers, ran the trailer business from his house in Proclamation Hill. Just after 1am on Sunday, five armed men entered the house and confronted Cooper and his wife, who has not been named.
'They first thought he was dead'
"They shot the man. We cannot say how many times at this stage. He died in the bedroom. The robbers then ordered the wife to give them money. She opened the safe and the robbers fled with an undisclosed amount," Msimango said.
Willie Lightfoot, of LifeMed Ambulance Services, said they were called to the scene at about 2am.
"It is believed that Mr Cooper woke up due to a noise in his house. He went to investigate and walked into the robbers in the passage. They shot him twice. He managed to run back to the bedroom, but the attackers followed and shot him six more times," said Lightfoot.
The robbers then hit the wife while demanding money, as her husband was dying in the same room.
LifeMed's paramedics tried to resuscitate Cooper, but to no avail. They took his traumatised wife to hospital. Nick Dollman, of Netcare 911, said when their paramedics arrived, they found the other medics already working on Cooper.
As they looked for others who might have been injured, they saw the family's Rottweiler lying on the ground.
"They first thought he was dead, but then realised the animal was still breathing. He had all the obvious symptoms of poisoning like foam around the mouth and diarrhoea. The paramedics put two drips on the dog and administered medication used for humans when poisoned," Dollman said.
The SPCA took the dog to the Valley Farm Animal Hospital in Faerie Glen.
Later in the day the paramedics went to visit their four-legged patient, Whiskey. He was critical, but the vet said their intervention had clearly helped. By Monday Whiskey was out of ICU and in a normal ward, recovering well.
It is believed that Mrs Cooper was discharged from hospital.
This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on March 24, 2009