The man who shot and killed a Grassy Park police officer has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the Khayelitsha Priority Crimes Court in Cape Town.
Denzil October, 44, a known gangster was convicted for the murder of 26-year-old Constable Ashwin Pedro, attempted murder of another police officer, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.
He entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the State.
Pedro was shot dead while he and his colleague were on patrol in Parkwood in December 2022.
October was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for robbery, 30 years imprisonment for the murder of Constable Pedro, five years imprisonment for the attempted murder of Constable Theodore Henry, 15 years imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm, and two years imprisonment for illegal possession of ammunition.
The Western Cape spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Eric Ntabazalila said October’s total sentencing totals to 60 years.
He said this brought his total sentence to 60 years imprisonment, but the court ordered all the sentences to run concurrently with the sentence imposed for the murder charge.
“The court declared him unfit to possess a firearm,” Ntabazalila said.
On December 1, 2022, a member of the public had approached the two police officers who were driving back to the police station after conducting patrols in the area.
The officers were given information that a man with blonde hair, who was wearing an orange t-shirt and blue pants was carrying a firearm.
The court heard the officers spotted the suspect walking on Blackbird Avenue in Parkwood and drove towards him.
Constable Pedro approached the suspect and ordered him to raise his hands but October took out a firearm.
Constable Henry joined his colleague and grabbed the right hand of the suspect (October) and attempted to restrain him. October resisted and grabbed Constable Henry’s firearm with such a force it detached from the safety retention cord.
The court further heard after ripping the firearm from the officer’s holster, October started running away and the officers were in full pursuit.
October started shooting at the police officer, wounding Constable Pedro.
He was later arrested at his Ravensmead home where police also recovered Henry’s firearm with an empty magazine in a wendy house in the back of the main house.
“The 44-year-old father of three, is no stranger to the courts, as he has previous convictions for robbery, assault common, housebreaking with intent to assault, attempted murder, and illegal possession of a firearm, on three occasions,” Ntabazalila said.
Addressing the court, State Prosecutor Advocate Luzaan Williams submitted the phenomenon of attacks on law enforcement officials was egregious and had become particularly prevalent in the Western Cape and the country.
She submitted the robbery and murder was committed while the two police officers were on duty as they were conducting crime prevention patrols and further explained the devastating impact the death of Pedro had on his family and his colleagues, who unveiled a mural in his honour.
Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Nicolette Bell welcomed the sentence and saluted Constable Pedro who died with his boots on fighting for the safety of the community he was serving.