Home News Gunman fires at theatre patrons over lost cellphone in S.Africa

Gunman fires at theatre patrons over lost cellphone in S.Africa

Published on 28/08/2017

A gunman opened fire in a packed theatre early Sunday in South Africa after his cellphone went missing in the audience, killing one person and injuring eight, police said Monday.

The man shot indiscriminately at the crowd in Hillbrow Theatre, in central Johannesburg, demanding his mobile phone.

“The suspect fired randomly at the crowd, and one person died and eight others were wounded,” said police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini.

“It is understood that the man had his cellphone stolen. He fled the scene on foot after the incident,” he said.

Police were still searching for the assailant.

The theatre caretaker who escaped the violence told The Citizen newspaper that he heard the gunshot and rushed inside to find patrons jostling to escape.

“It seems the man lost his stuff in the crowd and started complaining about his phone. He grabbed the mic and started saying whoever took his cellphone must give it back,” said Phanankosi Dube.

Hillbrow is a notorious densely populated inner city suburb, known for violent crimes.

The concert at the theatre has been staged to raise funds to support an organisation that offers safe space for children.