Wife of Mark Norris asks public not to judge his actions

The late Mark Norris with his wife Roxanne. Image: Lowvelder

Roxanne Norris claims that they were building a self-defence case when he succumbed to depression.

41-year-old Mark Norris was to stand trial in November for the double murder of his neighbours Luke Von Johnston, 66, and John Khoza, 73. It is alleged that he killed the two men in 2017.

Norris shot and killed his 75-year-old mother, Silvia Norris (neé Tonetti) on Wednesday, before turning the gun on himself on their farm in Low’s Creek.

According to police spokesperson, Brig Leonard Hlathi, they believed that Norris used a handgun registered to his wife, Roxanne Norris.

She declined to speak to Lowvelder, saying she was not in a good space, and would be ready to talk at the end of the week.

ALSO READ: Man allegedly shoots mother, himself a month before his double murder trial starts

She did, however, post on the newspaper’s Facebook page about how her husband was fraught with depression since the shooting incident. Here is a slightly shortened extract.

“A heartbroken wife for a man I could not save. I owe nothing to anybody but I have kept quiet for too long. Out of respect to my husband, let me inform you that the first was not a double murder.

“The state has to charge on the highest crime, by law, but does not mean that is what actually happened. One is innocent until proven guilty.

“We have a full positive self-defence case going of which one day I will reveal the truths to the public and this newspaper who uses sensationalism and people’s emotions to make themselves money.

“I despise how people have already decided he was guilty without knowing the facts. He was released out on a warning and not even on bail because there was not enough evidence showing foul play nor that he was a danger to society.

“After the incident, he went into the deepest darkest depression of his life. No one is happy seeing two people die. The post-traumatic stress after the whole ordeal was too much to carry.”

Roxanne said that after the shooting, Mark was in and out of Akeso psychiatric hospital.

She added that details printed in the newspaper were “completely incorrect”, and said she has kept quiet out of respect of the two families who lost their loved ones.

“Those loved ones were also not mass murderers but just two humans in a rage on a bad day. We are all human. Three families’ lives were destroyed that dark day. Since then Mark has wanted to die … every single day.”

Roxanne said that before Mark could get to court to prove his self-defence case, “he gave up” and succumbed to trauma, stress and pressure, suffering from PTSD and both he and his mother reeled from depression.

“And all this beautiful love I had overflowing from my heart for him was still not enough to save him. So please, instead of judging without knowing realities, say a prayer for everyone involved rather and maybe mind your own business and be thankful that it wasn’t your life that changed forever.”

Roxanne reminisced in the post about losing her best friend, and that Mark was a conservationist, beloved family man, “and the most gentle loving husband who I am going to miss for the rest of my life”.

“No one wanted to be in Mark’s shoes the last two years. I can promise you that. No one wants to watch the love of their life wither away. My heart is shattered and I wish the world had been kinder and given him more hope.

“To all those that offered their condolences and realised that this has been a tragedy for three families and not just two, thank you. Kindness is what I am clinging to.”

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