A seven-year-old girl who was caught in a crossfire between rival gangs in Ocean View, Cape Town, which also left a 31-year-old man dead, died on Tuesday evening.
Police had responded to a shooting incident in Libra Way, said police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa.
“On arrival, they discovered that a seven-year-old girl had been shot and seriously wounded. She was taken to False Bay Hospital by ambulance. It emerged shortly thereafter that she died on arrival at the hospital,” Potelwa said.
She was identified as Emaan Solomons by the local community and Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz, who said she was killed while playing in her yard.
He also visited the Ocean View police station on Wednesday.
Before visiting the Solomons’ family home, Fritz said the family had received trauma counseling.
“It is clear that the entire family is deeply devastated by the loss of Emaan, who was highly regarded by all,” he said.
Potelwa said a crowd gathered at the scene started attacking police. As a result, public order police and anti-gang unit members were deployed to quell the situation and restore calm.
After calm was restored, police discovered that a man had also been shot dead.
“Detectives are investigating both murder cases. The investigation is also looking into the identity of the 31-year-old man,” said Potelwa.
The situation in the area was calm on Wednesday morning, as police officers were still patrolling the area, he added.
Fritz said he had spoken to provincial police commissioner Yolisa Matakata, who had agreed that the police anti-gang unit should be continuously deployed in the area to ensure that gang-related violence was subdued.
“I will convene a meeting with all safety stakeholders in the community – including neighborhood watches, police, community policing forums, and others – to devise a safety plan with a practical implementation dashboard.”
“As communities, we cannot allow gangs to plague and terrorize the innocent and vulnerable. We must take a stand and report known criminals,” added Fritz.