‘He just pulled out a gun and shot my dad’

Moments after he witnessed a black gunman shoot his father, he held him in his arms.

Ricky Correia, 48, tried desperately to revive his father, Broadway Confectionery and Deli owner Manuel “Manny” Correia.

But the 70-year-old man died on Friday at Vincent Pallotti Hospital.

Manuel was shot in the face during an armed robbery at his business in Voortrekker Road earlier that day.

Correia said his father had been at the back of the bakery and he had been in the front of the store when three robbers approached him.

He was chatting to a customer when one of the men demanded he drop to the floor.

Puzzled by the suspects’ request, Correia thought it was a joke but then the man pulled out a gun.

Meanwhile one of the staff tried to alert Correia’s father to what was happening.

He emerged from the back to find three armed black men, one behind the counter.

“I saw the whole thing. He just pulled out a gun and shot my dad, no questions asked. I screamed and went berserk. I was shouting ‘How can you do this? How can you do this? How can you kill my father?’”

One of the men had already started emptying the till and demanded customers hand over their possessions.

While his father lay on the ground, the gunmen led Correia to the back of the deli wanting him to open the safe.

“They hit me and told me they were going to kill me. I couldn’t remember where the keys were, my nerves were finished. Luckily I managed to force the door open somehow and they hit me with the gun.

“I told them I don’t have the keys to the safe and we don’t even keep money in the safe. Luckily the petty cash was in the drawer with the staff salaries about R5 000. I told them that’s all the money we had.”

Once the robbers fled, Correia rushed to his father’s side. With the help of two customers, they had to drag his body and lift it into a vehicle, rushing him to hospital.

“I still had hoped my father would be okay. Dragging him across the floor was the hardest thing to do. He lay on my lap, choking on his own blood.”

Correia said doctors had tried to resuscitate his father but after an hour he was dead. The bullet had penetrated his tongue and landed in his spine.

He said his father had arrived in Cape Town at the age of 16 by boat from Madeira.

Source: Sunday Argus