Shop guard ‘died a hero’

Security guard Jeremy Johnson, 40, died at the Durbanville police station after a robbery at a liquor store last week.

The circumstances surrounding the death of a security guard who collapsed at the Durbanville police station, while reporting a crime, remain a mystery.

Jeremy Johnson, 40, was on duty when a burglary took place at Checkers Liquor Store on Tuesday May 16.

Two of the suspected burglars were killed when their alleged getaway car hit a truck, while Mr Johnson collapsed and died at the Durbanville police station when he went to report the crime (“Burglars die in car crash”, Northern News May 18).

Mr Johnson, from Clarke Estate in Elsies River, had worked as a private security guard for 11 years and was working night shift on the night of the burglary.

His sister, Sherine, said the family was heart-broken. She described her brother as lovable and respectful.

“He was younger than me but had a way of making you feel so special and loved,” she said.

Sherine said he had always referred to her as, “mamma, auntie or attie” – something she’ll miss hearing. She said the family were hoping to get the autopsy results this week.

Some Durbanville residents who got to know Mr Johnson over the years have so far raised R3 000 for his family.

In her Facebook post, Caron Baynes said: “Johnson. That’s the name of the man who died to make Durbanville safer last night. Over the years, I’ve asked their names, learnt who works day or night shift outside of Checkers, bought them a coffee or a Coke, joked about people’s parking skills or tempers. He is Johnson and he worked night shift there. All the security on day shift today are shaken at the loss. So anyone who feels a bit safer tonight please think of these men when you pop into Checkers – give them them a smile, a howdy. He died a hero in my eyes.”

Durbanville police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Theo Fisher said Mr Johnson had had no defensive wounds and police were still awaiting the autopsy report.

Durbanville Community Police Forum acting chairman Glen Schooling applauded the police for arresting a 23-year-old man in connection with the burglary.

“Criminals will not succeed and we salute all our brave SAPS members. We also salute the civilian members of our society for the many hours of volunteer service that they spend effortlessly to keep Durbanville safe,” he said.