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Police probe shooting deaths of cop couple

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The Roodepan police are investigating the shooting deaths of a police couple after the husband and wife were involved in an apparent domestic dispute on Wednesday evening.

The arrow shows where the Grey Polo was apparently parked and the direction it was facing. The flat on the right is where the couple and their three children resided. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE ROODEPAN police are investigating the shooting deaths of a police couple after the husband and wife were involved in an apparent domestic dispute on Wednesday evening.

According to the police, the husband reportedly shot and killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Sergio Kock said that preliminary reports indicate that the couple were involved in a domestic dispute at their place of residence in Lerato Park on February 7, at about 11pm.

The couple were identified as Sergeant Hendrik Daniels, attached to the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court, and his wife Constable Patricia Daniels, from the Barkly West police station.

“The 42-year-old husband allegedly fired several shots into a vehicle that his 45-year-old wife was in. He fatally wounded his wife and then shot himself,” said Kock.

“Both the victim and the suspect died on the scene.”

Kock added that the police investigation is continuing.

Eyewitnesses, who live in the vicinity, described the incident as a “horror movie” after hearing gunshots late at night.

They said the incident happened while everyone was glued to their TV screens, watching the soccer match between South Africa and Nigeria.

Some of the neighbours said they heard the couple arguing and their children screaming, but they never imagined that it would end in death.

One of the neighbours said she heard the wife rush out of the flat during the argument and climb into her car before driving off.

“It sounded like the husband didn’t want her to leave and demanded to know where she was going,” said the neighbour.

“The couple have been fighting throughout the weekend, but we felt that it was none of our business. And we felt that they would find a solution since they were both police officers.

“We heard the car driving off. The next thing we heard was gunshots,” added the neighbour.

Another neighbour said the loud gunshots left him in a state of shock.

“I didn’t know whether to run out of my house or find shelter. It was only after about two minutes that I managed to move, in order to peep through the window and see what was happening.

“My first thought was that it might be a political assassination. A child’s scream was heard. I got the courage to go outside after hearing other people go out.

“About that time, everyone in the surrounding area seemed to be pulling themselves together and asking about what was actually happening.

“We found the car parked at the entrance gate, with a shattered windscreen covered in bullet marks. There were empty cartridges on the dashboard.

“The husband was lying on the floor next to the car with a wound in the chest, while the wife was still sitting in the driver’s seat.

“We saw one gun next to the husband and another next to the wife in the car.

“It was very disturbing because the children saw what happened and it was difficult to calm them down after seeing how their parents died.”

He said they called the police.

The neighbours described the husband as a very quiet and respectful person who was always indoors, looking after his three children.

“He would hardly go out or hang around to mingle,” said the neighbour.

“He would greet and then disappear into the house. His car was always in the parking lot. That was whether or not his wife was home. We knew that he worked straight shifts and was always home.”

The Northern Cape provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Koliswa Otola, said she was saddened by the tragic incident and extended her heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased police officials.

Otola also appealed to SAPS members experiencing difficulties and challenges to seek assistance.

“The services of the SAPS Employee Health and Wellness section are available to all members and they are urged to approach the section if they need assistance.”

The entrance to the flats where the incident occurred late on Wednesday evening. Picture: Soraya Crowie
Sergeant Hendrik Daniels. Picture: Supplied
Constable Patricia Daniels. Picture: Supplied
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