Mall robbery hero on the mend
Pretoria - The man who was shot at Brooklyn Mall after being at the wrong place at the wrong time is recovering well at Unitas Hospital.
Bennie Venter, 43, was shot in the forearm as he attempted to prevent a robbery from taking place at Scoin shop in the shopping centre last Thursday.
The robbers got away with R1 million worth of coins.
“He is doing well but he is still in ICU. However, doctors said he might be moved to a normal ward after a day or two,” said Bennie’s brother, Sarel Venter.
Sarel told the Pretoria News that Bennie, who works for a security company in the vicinity, was at the mall to buy photo copy paper.
“He does not work at the mall. He was there to buy photocopying papers when he saw the three men running out of the store,” said Sarel.
“He stopped one of the men and slapped him. When the man was on the ground Bernie tried to reach for his gun. Thatâ€™s when another robber shot him,” said Sarel.
Based on his security training, Bennie was in the process of apprehending the suspect who had fallen on the ground.
“The second robber came out and shot my brother. The bullet struck him between his elbow and shoulder, went into his shoulder next to his lung and was lodged behind his liver,” Sarel said.
Bennie, a father of two, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but is recovering well.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said no arrests had been made and police were investigating a case of attempted murder, business robbery and armed robbery.
Makhubela said three men went into Brooklyn mall at midday. Two of the suspects went into the Scoin shop, a coin and medallion retail chain store, while one of the men kept watch outside the store.
One retail employer who asked not to be named, said she heard two shots and saw people outside the store running frantically for cover.
“I was busy in the store room when I heard a bang sound. I ran out to see what was going on. By the time I got out people were running around and we quickly closed up shop,” she said.
Brooklyn Mall marketing representative Mari-Lize Schneider said they were grateful that the police arrived in full force within minutes of the incident and pursued the suspects.
“The injured man was treated by paramedics and transported to hospital. We are giving the SAPS investigation our full support. Safety is our top priority.”