More than 200 clients watched on helplessly yesterday as an armed robber shot their fitness trainer in the head and killed him during a live-streamed Zoom training session.
Lawrence Masinge was shot dead in a suspected armed robbery in his home in Saulsville, near Pretoria, South Africa.
Pictures of the incident show a man in beige pants and a black top with what looks like a weapon in his right hand pointed at the instructor as he lay on the floor.
Another picture of the Zoom session shows a woman on the verge of tears as she witnessed the horrifying incident.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo said on Thursday that the motive for the killing was not yet known.
Mpho Magwaza, who is based in the UK, was taking part in the virtual session when she saw the horrific attack.
She told South Africa’s EWN: ‘Immediately when this person stepped in, I was aware something was not right and I watched him fire two shots and I couldn’t sleep the whole night.’
‘This guy did not feel any pity, he just killed him in the most cold way.’
Magwaza met Masinge two years ago and he helped her overcome her mental health issues and became her friend.
Another client, who wished to remain anonymous out of concern for her safety, said she entered the Zoom session at about 6.30pm and heard the first gunshot nearly 40 minutes later.
While taking part in the training session, she ‘heard a loud banging sound’ and ran to see what was happening.
‘That’s when my husband ran to the screen and said ‘this guy is getting shot’,’ she revealed.
She said Zoom participants were trying to find out where Masinge lived and one woman called the emergency services on her phone, adding: ‘Forty minutes later he was still just lying there cold and the police arrived with the paramedics.’
One of Masinge’s clients, Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, was taking part in the training session when the shots were fired.
‘A guy walked in, shot him. People were working out and weren’t aware of what was going on. The guy came back and shot him two more times and ran,’ she told TimesLIVE.
‘Everyone literally watched a lifeless body, frantically trying to get help. This went on for [what felt] like 30 minutes.’
‘He had so many clients and he was growing. The person who shot him was well dressed.’
‘I train with Lawrence all the time. I was traumatised. It was watching murder live on Zoom and there is nothing the people on the other side could have done.’
She described Masinge as ‘contagious’ and energetic adding that ‘He was taking over the fitness world. He was taking it to new heights. People didn’t see a need to sign up for a gym. There is no-one else like him.’
‘He has changed my fitness journey. He was an amazing human being. He just wanted people to do better.’
Other clients took to social media to demand justice for the murdered fitness coach.
One Twitter said: ‘Last night Lawrence Masinge was shot while on a Zoom meeting in the head and the suspects continued to rob the place but the number plate was seen on cameras. Please retweet and help raise awareness about this matter.’
Online users are also using the hashtag ‘justiceforlawrencemasinge’ to make sure the local authorities thoroughly investigate the trainer’s death.