Sunday, 19 July 2009

Moot latest city area where thugs have struck

Graeme Hosken

July 17 2009 at 01:41PM

City homeowners are under siege by gangs of heavily armed gunmen who in the past week have killed three people and critically injured three more - all in separate attacks, two of these in The Moot.

In the latest assault, civil engineer Benedetto Corrado, 36, was gunned down on Wednesday night as he delivered supper to his sister at her home in Rietfontein.

He was bringing her sister supper as she had been unable to cook because of a power outage at her 29th Avenue home.

Corrado's murder comes a day after three gunmen shot a husband and wife in their Mayville home less than 5km away, and after another gang shot Pretoria University sports project co-ordinator, Pat Beckmann, paralysing her in a house robbery in Constantia Park.

No one has been arrested for any of these attacks which occurred during the day or early evening.

Corrado was shot as he got out of his BMW to open the driveway gate of his sister's home.

Police said that as he stopped his car, three men in a white Toyota Corolla blocked his way and opened fire on him as he stepped out the vehicle.

The bullet, which hit Corrado in the stomach, tore through his intestines, colon and kidneys before it exited through his back.

Corrado, who was able to give a detailed description of his killers and their vehicle to family and later police, managed to return fire and is believed to have shot at least one of his killers, forcing them to drive off empty handed.

Corrado called his sister, who along with an electrician, rushed him into the house where he collapsed in the kitchen.

Neighbour and family friend, Renato Pucillo, who heard the shots and screams, rushed Corrado in his bloodied BMW to Moot Hospital where he died hours later.

Pucillo said: "It sounded like a war zone, as though there were hundreds of guns being fired all at once." Pucillo, who thought his friend would survive after doctors told him they had stabilised him and repaired his damaged organs, said he could not believe that he was dead. "He was killed for a car, which these people didn't even take," he said.

Family spokeswoman Debbie Prinsloo said they were devastated by what had happened.

"He was taking Maria and her worker food. He was not meant to be killed. He should be alive, getting married and having children," she said, fighting back tears.

Prinsloo said Maria knew that her brother had been shot when he screamed her name. "When the family got to the hospital they were told by doctors that he was in a critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit, and they were allowed to see him."

But 30 minutes later he was dead.

Prinsloo described Corrado as devout family man, who was always there for people. "His family can't believe that someone who was so full of love, and who was his parents and sister's best friend, is dead."

Police spokeswoman Captain Colette Weilbach said a case of murder and attempted robbery was being investigated. She said no arrests had been made.

Wonderboompoort police spokeswoman Inspector Wanda Olivier said there had also been no arrests after a couple were shot in a robbery close to where Corrado was killed.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on July 17, 2009


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