Shebeen queen shoots her customers
A NO-NONSENSE shebeen queen who was desperate to sleep opened fire on her patrons, forcing them to take cover during a shooting incident in her house.
Six illegal rifles, two hand guns and 600 rounds of live ammunition were subsequently found in the house in Crystal Park, Benoni, by police.
The 38-year-old woman allegedly lost her cool and shot at the customers in her house early on Saturday morning.
A white male who was shot in the chest is fighting for his life in hospital. His black drinking mate was shot in the arm and is in a serious but stable condition, said police.
Customers had to duck for cover after their host decided that business was over for the day and that she wanted to sleep.
The woman, who was only identified as Sophie by domestic workers in the vicinity, ran the shebeen from her dining room.
On Saturday at about 6am police were called to a bloody scene in the small, quiet suburb of Crystal Park.
According to police, about seven people had started drinking at the house on Friday.
They ignored "the queen's" plea to go home as she wanted to close shop and rest.
So she allegedly went to her bedroom and came out firing her .38 special revolver handgun at her customers.
"The woman refused to hand over the gun that she had shot her customers with," said Benoni police constable Godin Nyathi.
"When officers searched her home, they found the other firearms and ammunition."
He said the woman claimed that the weapons belonged to her late Italian husband. He died some years ago.
Police were unable to say whether the guns had been used in other incidents but were investigating the possibility.
The firearms in the woman's possession were six 479 PCA model rifles, a .38 special revolver handgun and an Acciaio double barrel special handgun. The ammunition was of various sizes, including 231 empty cartridges for a 9mm handgun.
The revolver had its serial number filed off.
Nyathi said that police were investigating the possibility that the cartridges were going to be refilled. They are also trying to link the cartridges to other incidents.
The woman is in police custody and is expected to appear in the Benoni magistrate's court today on charges of two counts of attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.