distressed police urged to seek help

THE police service has called on its members to use every internal avenue available to them to sort out personal problems and not to resort to using guns to end their lives.

THE police service has called on its members to use every internal avenue available to them to sort out personal problems and not to resort to using guns to end their lives.

This comes after a 26-year-old constable shot dead his girlfriend, also 26, before turning the gun on himself on Saturday night.

The two were found in their Baille Road, Red Hill home, north of Durban.

The police officer was stationed at Durban harbour. The names of both the deceased have been withheld because their next of kin were still to be informed.

Provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said it appeared there had been a domestic violence dispute, which led to the officer shooting his girlfriend before turning his official firearm on himself.

"After an argument broke out, he shot his girlfriend once in the head before turning the gun on himself."

Mdunge called on officers not to resort to violence to solve their problems.

"We have internal mechanisms and we ask our members to use them. These have been put in place especially to assist them. For instance, we have employed a full-time psychologist who is always available to render counselling free of charge to members. We encourage them to make use of such structures," he said.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said paramedics went to the scene after calls from police officers for assistance.

"Paramedics found the couple in a bedroom. The man was lying bloodied on the floor with a single gunshot wound to the head."

He said the paramedics worked fervently to treat and stabilise the man before he was rushed to the Netcare St Augustine's Hospital for further medical attention. He died shortly after arrival.

His girlfriend was found lying face down on the bed with a firearm near her.

"She also suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and was declared dead on the scene," he said.

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