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Blog: Taken down downtown Jozi


Just when you thought downtown Johannesburg had reached this point of relaxation where nothing more than a taxi driver leaning on his horn with perhaps an added rude gesture disturbed the hum of the city din – someone gets shot just under my balcony.

I don’t know who the shot individual was, and I don’t know who the shooting officer was. I didn’t go down to street level. Bad journalist I know. To be honest I was having quite a serious discussion with my partner and I considered this a rude interruption; but one that did warrant a quick distraction and a few snaps.

We watch the activity from my 15th floor balcony overlooking Jeppe street. My flat mate said he heard the police officer shout, “Put it down” and two shots in quick succession into the ground.  A third shot followed soon afterwards. Once I could see the commotion the shot man was already on the ground and disarmed.

We watched the action for some time. Differences of perception are interesting. If someone gets shot after clear warning from police to put down your firearm it means you didn’t put down your firearm and probably deserved it, if only for stupidity. While getting shot in the leg must suck I can’t say I felt much sympathy. My partner however, felt leaving the guy on the street with a clear distance around him and no one helping him to be a crime. She wondered whether police have training in first aid, I shook my head. But the point was a valid one. Although a shot to the leg rarely leads to death, bleeding does. A long trail of blood made its way to the storm drain.

There is a 24-hour spar on the other side of the road. Shoppers could not resist the spectacle.

At the time of taking the photograph the man had been shot once in the leg and was fully conscious while speaking and moving around on the street.

A fire truck arrived to take the man away roughly 30 minutes later. At the time of going to bed shortly after midnight police were still there but the man was of course gone and the blood washed off the street.

Next time, when a police officer tells you to put your gun down and fires warning shots into the ground, the safe suggestion is to do it.

Especially on a relaxed Sunday evening after a springtime rain.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 31/10/2011 16:36

    This is cruel, but very impressive.

  2. 31/10/2011 16:36

    I mean the photos ;-)

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