Seven people including a child (8) gunned down.

Seven people including a child (8) gunned down. Image: Pixabay.

Tragic shooting claims seven lives Including a child

Seven individuals, including an eight-year-old child, were fatally shot on Sunday morning in Willowvale, lEastern Cape.

Seven people including a child (8) gunned down.

Seven people including a child (8) gunned down. Image: Pixabay.

Seven people, among them an eight-year-old child, were tragically killed by gunfire early Sunday in Willowvale, situated within the Eastern Cape province.

Seven lives taken in tragic shooting

As per the police report, the series of shootings took place in the Nxanxashe location township.

ix individuals, comprising five males, including the child and one female, were fatally shot while travelling in their Mazda 3 vehicle. 

 Additionally, another person was discovered deceased approximately a kilometre away in a Toyota Fortuner.

According to the Sowetan Live, police also discovered an abandoned VW Polo with blood stains inside the vehicle, located not far from both crime scenes.

The victims ranged in age from eight to 45 years old.

Provincial Commissioner Lt-Gen Nomthetheleli Mene vehemently condemned the appalling massacre and disclosed that no arrests have been made thus far, as investigations are ongoing.

She appeals to anyone with information regarding these murders to step forward and aid in the investigation.

“The team of experienced detectives will be working tirelessly to uncover the truth behind these senseless killings. We are committed to providing the necessary resources and support to ensure a thorough and swift investigation. Such level of violence has no place in our society, and it is imperative that we unite to combat such heinous crimes,” Lt-Gen Mene said.

The families of the victims will receive notification once the identities of the deceased have been confirmed.

Residents stay indoors amidst heightened gun violence

The country’s increased crime rates have led many to adjust their lifestyles to prioritise safety.

Measures such as imposing curfews, socialising indoors behind locked gates, and children refraining from playing outside have become standard practices.

In the Westbury community, situated west of Johannesburg, the pervasive threat of gang violence has instilled a deep sense of fear. 

Mothers are unable to take their children for leisurely walks due to the constant worry of potential violence.

For years, this community has grappled with gang-related incidents, resulting in innocent bystanders becoming victims of crossfire and some even being targeted within the confines of their yards.

Residents are gripped by fear due to the situation. The tension is so palpable that children can no longer play freely on the streets.

Voneigh Julius, a mother of three, expressed her concerns to Sowetan from behind a locked gate at her mother’s house, highlighting how crime has dramatically impacted the freedom of her children.

“Our children can no longer play on the streets freely, even they are hyper aware and have become conditioned to run from danger. My seven-year-old will run into the house screaming “hulle gaan nou skiet” [They are about to shoot].

“They all know that we have to get into the house, close the doors and stay away from the windows.”

Students from a nearby primary school frequently seek refuge at Julius’s home while they wait for their scholar patrol. 

This precaution ensures that the children have immediate access to shelter in case of a shooting incident.

“We have had cases before where shooting happened and the learners were running into our yards. One by one my mother was pulling them into the house for safety. Since then, my mother has opted that they wait in our yard and we keep the gate locked.

“We have witnessed people being shot, my brother even took a stray bullet to the hand. What would happen if a child was hit?

“This is the life we live. After 5pm, I make sure that I am not on the street. I cannot take my children for walks or allow them to just be themselves on the street.”

She mentioned that e-hailing drivers avoid operating in the area due to frequent incidents where drivers are targeted, robbed, and, at times, even killed.

How they socialise has also become different since 2015 when gun violence became rife.