The man who allegedly fired shots indiscriminately and fatally wounded a colleague at an after-party at a local hangout in Ausspannplatz in the early morning hours of Saturday made a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The accused, Julian Dawson, 38, was not asked to plead and his legal rights were explained to him.
He indicated to the court that he has already acquired the services of local lawyer Vetu Uanivi to represent him.
According to the charge sheet, Dawson shot and killed Bonnie Tjihepo unlawfully and intentionally at or near Ausspannplatz on November 12. He faces one charge of murder so far, but the charges could be amended in future to include, among others, the negligent firing of a firearm and discharging a firearm in a municipal area.
Public Prosecutor Ivann Tjizu objected to bail on the grounds that investigations are at an infant stage.
He said the State fears the accused might interfere with State witnesses and also cited the seriousness of the offence and the interest of society.
He further indicated that the accused may lodge a formal bail application and then asked for a postponement of the case to January 30 next year to allow for further investigations. Uanivi confirmed the date and informed the court that he would engage the State soonest to secure a date for a formal bail application.
The court was packed with family and friends of the accused, who in the dock looked rather docile and incapable of hurting a fly – let alone killing someone intentionally. According to a friend of the accused, alcohol was linked to the shooting.
The friend, who wished not to be named, said Dawson is usually not a violent person and he does not know what came over Dawson that caused him to randomly fire several shots within an enclosed space.
The information available so far suggests Dawson and his victim were involved in an argument and that Dawson subsequently took out his firearm and fired several shots at random within the club.
One of his shots struck Tjihepo in the chest, killing him instantly.
It is understood that some of the onlookers then forcefully disarmed Dawson and held him until the police arrived and arrested him.