Three children killed in barbershop shooting

Thursday, June 13, 2024 - Police in Western Cape, South Africa have arrested two suspects in connection with the killing of three children and a man at a barbershop in Khayelitsha.

The gunmen travelling in a Toyota Quantum on Saturday, June 8, 2024, entered the barbershop and reportedly asked the people inside about someone who had a firearm before spraying bullets, killing the three children, Lunge Chomo, Enzokuhle Dladlu and Lichume Ngeni.

In addition to murder, the suspects aged 24 and 28, have also been linked to nine attempted murders.

Western Cape police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Wednesday, June 12.

“Western Cape Serious Violent Crime detectives have been hard at work following a shooting incident that was perpetrated by gunmen at a barber shop on Saturday afternoon in Qwarha Street in Site C, Khayelitsha,” said Potelwa.

“Three children aged five, 11 and 12 as well as a 30-year-old man died from the shooting and seven others were seriously injured. Two other individuals were unharmed.

Potelwa said with the investigation unfolding, the possibility of more arrests and further charges being pursued cannot be ruled out.

“Investigations into another multiple murder shooting incident that occurred in Nyanga on Sunday continue and no arrests have been affected yet.”

At the time of the shooting Western Cape MEC of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen called on police to leave no stone unturned in the investigation

“We need to ensure that they are swiftly arrested so that a conviction can follow. Life should never be this cheap. SAPS should employ every ounce of their intelligence. I urge anyone with information to make it available to all law enforcement agencies so that justice can be done.”

Police said the suspects are expected to make their first appearance in the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court on Friday, June 14.

Devastated grandmother, Sheila Dladlu said 4-year-old Enzokuhle was playing with her friends near the scene when she was shot.

“We heard the gunshots and then when the suspects were done shooting, I went outside and saw Enzokuhle walk very slowly. I could tell she was injured.

"She fell on the ground and when she got up she was staggering and I could see the blood on her clothes.

“Her mother went to pick her up and ran to catch a taxi and I noticed my neighbour’s child was also shot and we all went to the hospital.”

The distraught woman believes Enzokuhle died in her arms.

“I couldn’t tell my daughter that I could see that she wasn’t alive any more. The doctors tried to resuscitate her but that didn’t help."

“She had been shot in the right side of the chest and the bullet travelled and ruptured her kidney.

"While we had just heard the dreaded news from the doctors, we saw more people being admitted to the hospital from the same shooting.”

A neighbour, Xoliswa Ngeni said Lichume Ngeniin was playing with her toddler when they went to the barbershop.

“The shooters asked for the person who had a gun and no one answered and so they started shooting and my niece Lichume was shot in the leg,” Ngeni said.

Police spokesperson André Traut said police were investigating the circumstances.

“Two children, aged 11 and 12, and an adult aged 30 were killed on the scene while three children were admitted to hospital," he said.

“The 4-year-old later succumbed to death due to her injuries.

“The suspects fled the scene and are yet to be apprehended. The motive for the incident is yet to be determined." 

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