Why Tony Phalatsi went on a destructive killing spree, nobody knows. What is known is that he used his car and a handgun as lethal weapons and left a trail of destruction at a takeaway outlet.
And when he was done, two lay injured, two were dead and he had killed himself.
According to witnesses, Phalatsi’s BMW X5 crashed into a 4X4 Isuzu bakkie at Slap Chips, a fast-food restaurant in Vanderbijlpark, Vaal.
The bakkie fell over onto the manager of the restaurant, leaving him trapped.
Phalatsi got out of his car and shot the manager, who was still trapped.
When patrons standing outside the restaurant started screaming, Phalatsi fired randomly at the bystanders, wounding a father and son.
He got back in the car, drove to another location outside town, where he shot and killed a car guard.
The gunman then drove to Sharpeville Global petrol station, 10 kilometres from the city centre, parked his car in the garage’s driveway and shot himself dead. . .in the head.
Siyabonga Mvo, a car guard at Slap Chips, told the publication what he saw as the BMW arrived.
“I was standing with the store manager when I saw the X5 driving towards us,” he said.
“First the madman hit the manager. He hit the 4X4 that was parked next to us. I saw the manager flying to the other side of the car and landing under the 4×4.”
He said the driver jumped out of his vehicle and started shooting randomly at patrons.
“I ran for cover and only came back after the man got back into his car and drove off,” said Siyabonga.
Captain Kay Makhubele confirmed the shooting.
He said cops are investigating attempted murder cases and an inquest docket was opened.
“On Tuesday at about 7pm, a man driving a BMW X5 allegedly shot several people in Vanderbijlpark,” he said.
“He was later found in Sharpeville in his car, where he’d shot himself,” said Makhubele.
“The motive for the shooting is unknown and police are investigating. All the injured victims were taken to hospital.”
The family of the suspect refused to comment. Slap Chips remained closed yesterday following the incident.
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