An Overport dad says he reacted on instinct after hearing his wife report on intruders in the yard, prompting him to grab his shotgun and walk into the line of fire from two AK-47-wielding masked suspects on Wednesday.
Unbeknown to him at the time, his quick action almost cost him his life when an AK47 bullet was lodged in his head during his Wild West gunbattle with the heavily armed suspects on Essendene Road in Overport.
Speaking to The Weekly Gazette, an upbeat, Musher ‘Gino’ Khan who is a crimebuster and regular patroller with the community policing initiative known as Ethekwini Secure, said if he considered his actions more carefully at the time, he would have thought twice about going out to confront the gunmen in that fashion.
“My actions have been deemed as heroic but my instinct was to protect my family and those in danger around me first and foremost. My wife and my toddler son were right beside me and could have been shot in the crossfire. In retrospect, this concerns me greatly. This violent incident has impacted my son and he has been reflecting on what he saw play out that afternoon. It was like a scene out of a movie with my only thought being to protect those around me with everything I had,” said Khan.
According to Khan who runs his business from his home-based office, a gang had targeted the premises next door and Khan had responded to the call for help from a domestic who reported the incident to his wife.
“The suspects were heavily armed and opened fire on me when they spotted me. I took cover behind my car and returned fire. The suspects fired rapidly and I returned fire. The suspects then moved away and I didn’t even know at the time that I was shot. Together with my manager who was around at the time, we pursued the suspects to the bottom of the road and fired more shots as the suspects continued firing blindly with people on the road,” Khan added.
“I picked up my phone to call for help when I saw it covered in blood and realised that I had been shot. I made the call for help and within a minute, more than 100 respondents including security personnel and police were on my door step. The scene was cordoned off and I was taken to hospital where I discovered that a bullet had grazed my shoulder and one was lodged in my head. Surgery was performed on Thursday and on Friday, I was back home with my family,” said Khan.
“I had a close brush with death. I could have lost my life and my family could have been injured as well. However, we are tired of living at the mercy of criminals. Residents of Overport, Morningside and Sherwood have been hard hit recently. It’s time to take back our community. We need to stand up in the face of these marauding criminals and together as a community act in unison by protecting what belongs to us,” Khan said.