JP van Niekerk, a security guard who was shot dead in Waterkloof, gave his life for another family, a colleague said on Tuesday.
“He sacrificed his life but he was a hero,” French Jooste from Bull Security told News24.
“He was a hero in all of our eyes. He always went in first. He wasn’t scared of anything.”
Jooste, along with Bull Security owners JP Griesel and Lendl Jansen, had to go tell Van Niekerk’s wife, Erica that her husband had been killed.
“That was one of the worst experiences of my life. She was still asleep and we woke her up and said ‘listen there was an incident and JP died on the scene’. That wasn’t very nice.”
He left behind his wife and two children, both still in school.
Van Niekerk was shot dead after responding to a house break-in in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Waterkloof.
Jooste said a Bull Security client had called at around 01:10 on Tuesday morning informing them that there were people in the house.
Five men, two of them armed, had entered the house.
“As my guys [Bull Security] drove into the complex these guys starting shooting.
“A hell of a gunfight broke out. We still not sure how many rounds were fired,” said Jooste.
“It was a rain of bullets. The whole house, the brick walls, even the neighbours walls were full of gunshot holes. Up to now we’re not sure how many rounds were fired.”
He said Van Niekerk was shot in the stomach just under his bullet proof vest.
Jooste said when he arrived on the scene Van Niekerk was still alive.
“I arrived there and one of the owners of Bull Security, JP Griesle also arrived. JP [Griesle] started to do CPR on the other JP. He tried to help him.”
Netcare paramedics arrived on the scene in minutes and tried to resuscitate Van Niekerk but they could not bring him back.
He said one of the suspects had been shot by Van Niekerk’s partner Neila Botha.
The suspect was in a critical condition and Jooste was not sure if he would live.
Three of the five suspects fled over the back wall. Another was shot and killed on the scene.
‘All the young guys looked up to him’
Van Niekerk had been poached from another security company and had only been working for Bull Security for about four months.
“He was one of our best officers,” said Jooste.
He said Van Niekerk was a real family man.
“That guy lived for his children and his wife.”
Jooste said Van Niekerk could always be counted on and was affectionately known as “oupa” because he was the oldest member of the team.
“All the young guys looked up to him. If they needed advice they went to JP.”
Jooste said Tuesday’s incident was traumatic for the whole team who were on the scene and trauma counselling had been organised.
He said there had been a lot of support from the community, with many people dropping off flowers at Bull Security’s office.
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