31 cartridge casings found at scene of northern areas execution
MORE than 30 bullets were fired at the scene of the gangland execution of an alleged drug dealer in one of two shootings in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas this week.
The hail of bullets was fired at close range at Donovan “Staal” Berry, 47, who was killed in Barberry Street, Bethelsdorp, shortly after 9am yesterday.
The bullets hit his face and body.
Berry’s killing came 12 hours after Xandre Jansen, 29, was killed inside his Glendinning Street, Schauderville, flat on Monday night.
Jansen was gunned down when he answered a knock at his door.
Referring to the Berry shooting, police insiders said he had been “very well known”, having allegedly been involved with the distribution of drugs to gangs and running his own drug dens.
He had also been one of the senior leaders of the Dustlife gang, the insiders said.
Several detectives said they believed Berry had been killed as part of an assassination arranged by a rival gang. Yesterday’s murder saw 31 spent bullet casings scattered around Berry’s body.
Medics confirmed that he had been shot several times.
Colonel Priscilla Naidu said Berry had been gunned down on the pavement outside a house in Barberry Street moments after a car was seen dropping him off.
“The vehicle that dropped him off had driven further down the road to make a U-turn.
“Shortly after the vehicle drove off, bullets started to fly,” Naidu said.
“It remains unclear how many shooters were involved or what the reason for the shooting was.”
Naidu said Berry had been shot several times in the face and upper body.
Officials on the scene said due to some bullets hitting Berry in the face, it had been hard to get an initial identification.
Berry had been arrested several times over the past few years and, according to police, was instrumental in having hits put out on opposition gangsters.
In the Jansen killing, the victim opened the door to an unknown person who fired several shots at him.
“A 29-year-old woman [who was inside the flat] was also wounded in the leg,” Naidu said. Jansen died in hospital.
“Detectives have sent all the forensic and ballistic evidence to the laboratory to be analysed,” she said.
Last week, 12 people were arrested for a string of crimes ranging from possession of drugs to illegal firearms during Operation Lockdown, a police campaign to clamp down on gangsterism and crime in the northern areas.
When asked if police were preparing for retaliation attacks Naidu said several police members were already in the area as part of Operation Lockdown.