Sunday, 20 January 2008

Pretoria couple speak about hijacking ordeal

Zelda Venter

January 19 2008 at 09:17AM

A man was gunned down and killed on Thursday night in Lyttelton Manor as he and three others tried to hijack a couple when they stopped in the driveway at their parents' home.

Mark Beyers (33), the owner of MJC Security Services, took no chances when he saw a man shoving a firearm in the face of his wife Shanene (26).

"The man was very aggressive and he kept demanding the car keys from her. She did not have them. He pushed his gun into her face and I knew he was going to shoot her if I did not shoot him first," Beyers said.

Their nightmare ordeal happened at about 8pm on Thursday when they went to his parents to pick up their dog.

'I had no choice but to shoot the man holding up my wife'

Shanene was driving and stopped in the driveway of the house in Langebrink Street. They got out as they wanted to swop places. Shanene said the plan was that she would quickly get the dog and that her husband would then drive home.

The keys were in the ignition and as the couple got out of the car, a silver Jetta stopped behind them.

"Armed men jumped out and walked towards us. One walked towards me and the other towards my husband.

"I tried to run away from the car, but this guy stuck the gun in my face and demanded the keys," Shanene said.

She told him she didn't have the keys and that he could have her cellphone, which he took.

'This is proof that the good guys sometimes also win'

It was at this stage that her husband fired several shots at the man, who died on the scene shortly afterwards. One of the gunmen ran away, while the other two sped off.

Beyers said it was his lucky day, as he shot the gunman holding up his wife while another was about a metre away from him, pointing a gun at him. He had his firearm with him in a moon bag.

"I had no choice but to shoot the man holding up my wife. I just knew he was going to kill her."

He said the other gunmen then fired several shots at him. "I don't know how they managed to miss me. I was just lucky."

He said that as the gunmen were about to flee, he ran after the Jetta and fired several more shots at the driver's window. "The car disappeared and I don't know if I had hit anyone."

He then went to the man he had shot.

"He was dying. I took his gun off him as I had no more bullets. I was afraid that they would come back to fetch their buddy and I wanted to be prepared."

Beyers, a former policeman, said he was not too fazed about the whole incident, as it was a situation he had encountered many times during his work. It was, however, the first time that he and his wife together had encountered such a situation.

"I am happy that we are fine and that this is proof that the good guys sometimes also win."

His mother, who did not want to be named, said she was traumatised by the incident.

She was opening the gate for them and saw the drama unfold. "When I saw this shiny silver car slowly come driving along, I first thought the people were lost. I then saw them jumping out with guns," she said.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on January 19, 2008


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