We got it wrong when we reported on May 24 that police killed a Pretoria homeowner and critically injured his family when they stormed the wrong house looking for cash-in-transit suspects on May 24 (“Pretoria man killed as police raid wrong house“).
The information was given to us by two policemen at the scene‚ but neither of them had first- hand knowledge of the homeowner’s injuries or of the relationship of the homeowner to other people injured on the scene. A paramedic later told us that one of the people shot at the scene was in very bad shape and he was unsure if the patient would make it. However‚ we failed to corroborate the information given to us by the policemen.
Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi had told us ahead of publication that it was “nonsense” that someone had been killed. We failed to reflect this comment.
We later published two follow-up stories‚ based on a police statement‚ denying that anyone was killed and confirming they had targeted the correct property‚ which had several houses on it.
However‚ we did not make it clear whether we were retracting our story or standing by it. We retract the statement that someone had been killed during the shootout‚ that his family was critically injured and that the police targeted the wrong property.
We apologise to the police and to our readers for publishing unverified information.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The related headlines were:
- Pretoria police raid was ‘proper cowboy stuff’‚ says source‚ but Hawks say it was tactical
- No one died in Pretoria takedown of cash-in-transit robbery suspects: Hawks
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Police officers tracking a gang of cash-in-transit robbers have killed a Pretoria homeowner and apparently critically injured his family after they apparently stormed the wrong house.
The publication understands that the two joggers were also shot and injured in the exchange of gunfire‚ and that two suspects had been arrested.
According to sources‚ the officers mistook the slain man’s house for the suspects’ hideout. There are multiple houses on the same property.
A police officer‚ who lives across the road from the house in Kilner Park‚ was injured when he ran to assist his neighbour‚ police sources said.
“Its f***ed up. The suspects who were in their cars were seen in the street. When they saw the cops they fled in their vehicles.
“Police stormed the house they thought was the safehouse‚ but its apparently the wrong house. For some reason one of the cops opened fire and then the others did. It’s a total mess‚” said a police source.
Another officer said several people were rushed to hospital.
“Its too early to say their conditions‚” he said‚ declining to say if women and children were among the injured.
Police spokesperson Captain Ilse Jones confirmed that a shooting had occurred‚ said she had no concrete details at this stage.
The operation was conducted by National Intervention Unit‚ the Special Task Force and Crime Intelligence Unit.
This is a developing story.