Durban woman, 72, dies after being shot by house robbers

Durban – The 72-year-old Pinetown woman that was caught in the crossfire between her landlord and armed robbers died in hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

An alleged house robber was shot dead and two others were wounded in Pinetown on Monday night when a homeowner, responding to his neighbour’s cries for help opened fire on a gang terrorising her.

Sonja Ritchie,72, a real estate agent had been in her house when three men walked in through an unlocked front door. Farrel Wenezky, her landlord, confirmed that she had died just after midnight.

Colonel Thembheka Mbhele, KwaZulu Natal police spokesperson, said that on Monday night the home owner from Padfield Park was sitting with his wife watching TV when they heard loud screams from an outside building which is rented to the woman.

“The homeowner went to inspect what was happening. He saw three unknown men in the tenant’s building attacking the tenant who was crying for help. A gun battle ensued between the homeowner and the invaders which resulted in one suspect being shot on the shoulder and in the mouth. He died on the scene,” she said.

“Another suspect was shot on the head and was taken to a hospital. The victim (tenant) was also shot on the abdomen. A third suspect escaped in a getaway car that was parked outside the yard. Two firearms, a Z88 pistol with a filled off serial number and a CZ pistol belonging to the victim were recovered from the scene,”Mbhele added.

Pinetown police are investigating cases of house robbery and attempted murder. An inquest has also been opened into the death of the alleged robber.


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