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Cop shot by man dressed as woman

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"The constable was stabbed seven times in the head and was shot twice by the suspect with his own service firearm,”

Picture: Soraya Crowie

AN off-duty police officer from Roodepan is recovering in hospital after he was attacked, robbed of his firearm and shot while pursuing a man who was dressed as a woman.

The suspect was armed with a gun and a pair of sheep shears.

The constable was admitted to Lenmed Royal Hospital and Heart Centre last week after sustaining gunshot wounds and several stab wounds to his head and body.

Hospital manager Hector Mackay indicated that the police officer was treated in the intensive care unit but was later transferred to an ordinary ward on Friday.

Police spokesperson Captain Bashoabile Kale said that the police are investigating a case of attempted murder as well as the theft of a firearm.

“The constable, who was supposed to be off duty, was investigating a docket and on his way home at the time of the incident. He spotted a suspicious looking person walking in the street near Homestead. The suspect was wearing a wig and was carrying a pair of sheep shears. The constable introduced himself as a police officer in order to question the person, whom he was under the impression was a woman, although it turned out to be a man. The constable was stabbed seven times in the head and was shot twice by the suspect with his own service firearm,” said Kale.

He indicated that no suspects had been arrested yet and the police were also still trying to retrieve the police officer’s stolen firearm.

A family member of the injured policeman stated that the incident would not deter the officer from working to rid the streets of crime.

“He is extremely committed to his work and loves his job. He would not hesitate to assist the community, whether he is on or off duty, and always goes the extra mile to help people.”

The family member explained that the constable had been assisting a complainant whose shop was robbed.

“They were driving in Homestead on Thursday night (March 28),when he saw a suspicious person who was lurking behind the trees and appeared to be carrying a weapon. He was under the impression that the suspect was a woman, as the person was wearing high heels, a short skirt and had long hair. The constable decided to pursue the person on foot, to prevent the person from committing an offence. Upon closer inspection he saw that the suspect was carrying a pair of sheep shears and a firearm.”

He added that the police officer was caught unaware and hit over the head from behind, whereupon he collapsed.

“It was after dark and visibility was limited. He instinctively reached for his firearm, which fell to the ground in the process. He fought back and grabbed the person’s skirt, only to find that the suspect was a man who was wearing pants under the skirt. He also pulled the suspect’s hair, which dislodged from his head as it was a wig.

“The suspect stole his cellphone, stabbed him, grabbed his service firearm and proceeded to shoot him twice in the right arm. It is strange that the suspect never made use of his own gun.”

He said that the complainant who had reported the robbery at his business, ran to the station commander’s home to call for help.

“Luckily the station commander lives nearby and they summoned an ambulance to the scene. He (the police officer) had lost a large amount of blood and became dizzy. Medical staff at casualties said that he might not have made it if the paramedics had not reacted so swiftly in transporting him for medical treatment.”

The family member added that the suspect had left his wig and skirt, which he had used to conceal his identity, at the scene.

“The constable didn’t think twice about sacrificing his own life in the process and related that he is glad that he managed to prevent the suspect from harming someone else that night.”