Ismail Khan has been hailed a hero by the mourning Laudium community after he died from a bullet wound to the head, suffered when he tried to assist a family being attacked by robbers.
The 31-year-old was with friends when they arrived at a braai at a home in Laudium on Friday night where a robbery was in progress.
According to witnesses, Khan was a close friend of the family being robbed by four suspects. He had received a distress call while on his way there.
When he arrived the robbers were still there. “Four suspects were on their way out of the house. They fired the shots, hitting Khan in the head,” said the witness.
His friends were also injured, and rushed to Netcare Unitas Hospital in Centurion, where they were admitted in a critical condition. Khan succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.
While Khan’s family could not be reached for comment, police spokesperson Captain Agnes Huma said the incident happened at about 9.20pm at Zenith Crescent in Laudium.
“A complainant said four suspects entered the yard while the (family) were having a braai. They forced them into the kitchen at gunpoint,” she said, adding that one person at the scene was hit with a firearm on the head.
The robbers ransacked the house and took jewellery, cellphones, a TV, and keys to the family’s bakkie.
“As the suspects left the house, they shot the guests arriving, injuring two of them in the upper body. The suspects fled on foot,” Huma said.
She said police recovered a white Renault, suspected to belong to the suspects. A laptop and TV were found inside the car. “A white Renault with no registration was recovered by police on the R55 Schurweberg Road. It was suspected to be the suspects’ car. Inside were the laptop and a TV,” Huma said.
Condolences and calls for communities to fight crime hit social media throughout the weekend, with Khan being hailed a hero for rushing to the home when he heard they were under attack.
The calls for stronger efforts against crime increased when the news of his death surfaced on Monday.
Huma said a case of house robbery and murder was opened. No arrests had been made. Anyone with information should call 086 001 0111.