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Man shot four times fending off armed robber

by Staff Reporter
24 Jan 2014 at 12:30hrs | Views
A 43-year-old man, Tandadzai Mazikana, is lucky to be alive after he was shot four times with an AK-47 assault rifle as he braved to fend off an armed robber who had pounced on a Chikanga high-density shop recently.

Mazikana fought a lone battle as residents watched from a distance, fearing for their lives as the apparently defeated armed robber wantonly pulled the trigger to disperse the crowd.

In an interview at Mutare Provincial Hospital, where he is recovering from the gunshot wounds, Mazikana vividly recalls the incident which happened at around 7pm on the fateful day.

If it were not for God's grace he could be history for he survived the fifth shot which was aimed at his head as the rifle jammed.

The armed robber, who police believe is a professionally trained weapon handler, broke free from his grip and aimed at his head, but miraculously the gun jammed.

The robber, who is still at large, took to his heels as hordes of people advanced to attack him with all sorts of weaponry at their disposal.

"Everything happened in a flash just like in a movie style. I had gone into Fuserice Wholesale and Supermarket to buy a soft drink. As I was going out, the robber stormed into the supermarket.

"His gun was hidden in his fleece jacket, but he was wearing a mask which somehow caught my attention, but I just ignored it and continued walking out.

"Some seconds later, I heard him ordering everyone in the shop to lie down. That is when I immediately realised that he was a robber. On impulse, I was quick to size him up, and gathered the guts to take him on after realising that I was much stronger than him," said Mazikana, who is a rank marshal.

"I quickly moved back into the supermarket and ambushed him. We wrestled down the stairs, tumbling outside the supermarket.

"That is when he was able to fire the first two shots which shot my left hand.

"I, however, maintained my grip on him and continued to fight trying to remove his mask. I called for help from others, but people were afraid after gun shots were fired. I then lost my grip while pinning him down and he managed to fire another shot which went through my ribs on the left side and another one that shot me on the left buttock," said the rank marshal.

Mazikana got 29 stitches on his left hand, nine stitches on his left buttock and another nine on his left ribs.

The owner of the shop, GJ Investments, said the robber first pounced on Mr Hardlife Magureyi and stole two mobile phones, $350 from their Eco-cash venture and $465 from the grocery shop's cash register.

"The armed robber came in our shop around 7pm wearing a woollen mask and a blue fleece jacket. We were six in the shop. He ordered everyone to lie down and fired a single warning shot. He fired another shot into the wall on the same spot, shouting out again for everyone to lie down on the floor.

"He demanded money from the grocery shop attendant and the Eco-cash attendant. As soon as he got the money he quickly ran out and threatened to shoot at anyone who dared follow him.

"After he left, that is when we started calling for help. Minutes later after gathering the courage, I then decided to chase after him and saw him at Fuserice Wholesale and Supermarket where he was already in another robbery attempt. About 13 people were inside the shop and that is when Mazikana wrestled him," said Mr Magureyi.

He said after Mazikana's heroic attempt to apprehend the robber, hordes of people later gathered the guts to chase the robber all the way to Chikanga Phase Two near the Latter Day Saints Church.

The robber constantly fired shots to scare away people and later hid in a maize field. No one dared to follow him.

Mr Magureyi was, however, quick to point out that the armed robber seemed drilled on how to use a firearm.

"This robber had definitely done his homework during the day and he seemed drilled on how to use a firearm. I know a bit about guns from visiting the Zimbabwe National Army stand during the Manicaland Agriculture Show, of which we were taught that an AK-47 with a folding butt is a sophisticated riffle.

"The robber fired two shots at the same spot into the wall. He also wrestled Mazikana reasonably well for a small guy he was, and still kept his firearm on him. I think he was a professional and much drilled in using firearms," said Mr Magureyi.

Police have launched a manhunt for the robber.

Source - Manicapost