On Thursday evening at around 8pm on December 26, six terrorists in a stolen vehicle targeted a business in Greenbushes, Port Elizabeth. Heavily armed, only one person stood between them and their defenseless victim, a 21 year old lady manning the shop counter. In the brave struggle to protect the young lady and her employer’s property, Rodrick Erasmus (49) was shot and killed.
Port Elizabeth is a city on Algoa Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. A major port, it’s also known for its numerous beaches. A popular tourist destination, that offer boat tours to view whales and rare seabirds, while wildlife reserves outside the metropolitan area are home to elephants, rhinos and other big game.
Rodrick Erasmus, was employed as an armed response officer for Nitrous Security in Port Elizabeth.
He was a devoted Christian and liked to use the Hebrew version of his name: רודריק קונרד ארסמוס
In preparing our article, we found this dedication and commitment to his fellow South Africans, posted on Facebook by Rodrick nearly two years ago.
In a country where 59 people are murdered every day, it takes a fearless man with strong convictions, to face the terror unleashed with impunity, on South Africa and its citizens.
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According to police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu, the men were armed and demanded money and goods. The panic alarm was activated by the employee and the security company responded immediately.
As Roderick Erasmus entered the building, he started wrestling with a suspect at the entrance. He then shot at the terrorists, injuring one of them.
“The suspects retaliated, fatally wounding Erasmus,” said Colonel Priscilla Naidu.
A customer who was in the shop was robbed of his cellphone, wallet, and his pickup truck. They also robbed the young employee and fled the scene taking Rodericks firearm.
On social media, friends and family posted their heart wrenching tributes, to a brave Christian
On Facebook at the featured photo of Rodrick on patrol – his daughter commented:
“My beautiful Dad!” – Chanelle Erasmus
Another tribute posted by Chantelé Staines van Vuuren include a poem and song by Donna Taggart.
How do you catch a falling star?
How do you fix a broken heart?
How can we go back to rewrite this from the start?
Back when our world glowed from just a spark?
Stuck inside this atmosphere.
Watching my light just disappear.
Now the things that I’ve forgotten while you were here.
Now I remember them all so clear.
Arrests made for the Murder of Rodrick Conrad Erasmus
On Thursday, January 2, 2020 Colonel Priscilla Naidu said police officers had received a tip-off about the suspects’ whereabouts.
Two men were arrested between 1am and 2am.
“A 33-year-old suspect was arrested at a house in Kwazakhele. The suspect was found with a gunshot wound to his lower abdomen,” Naidu said.
“Further information led police to a house in Joe Slovo in KwaDwesi, where a 38-year-old suspect was arrested. A 9mm Vector firearm (serial number filed off) was confiscated and a pickup truck suspected to have be used in the commission of the crimes was also seized,” she added.
Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the suspects would appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday.