By Anita Dangazele
At least five people lost their lives when a group of men stormed into a home in Gelvandale, Gqeberha, and mowed down backyard dwellers late on Sunday night.
The first victim was found in the passage of the outside building, a couple was found in the bedroom, while two other bodies were found in the bathroom.
The deceased, three men and two women, were aged between 24 and 42 years old. They are Daniel Cornellissen, Amber van den Berg, Shariff Guttie, Ismaaêel van Breda and Jade Jantjies.
A neighbour, who asked not to be named for fear of revenge, said she was watching TV when she heard gunshots.
“I got so scared and went to hide in the bedroom until the gunshots stopped. It’s horrible what happened to those people. We’re all shaken,” she said.
From within the house, cries and calls for help echoed loudly.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed the shooting.
“It is alleged that at about 11.50pm, an unknown number of gunmen wearing balaclavas entered a yard in Koedoe Street and proceeded to the outbuilding at the back of the house. Shots were fired from the outside before the gunmen entered,” she said.
Naidu said the motive for the murders is still unclear at this stage.
This is the fourth mass shooting that has taken place during a home invasion in Nelson Mandela Bay since January. A total of 23 people have lost their lives after being ambushed by gunmen in their homes.
- Eight people were shot dead during a 50th birthday celebration on 29 January.
- Four people were killed at a house party on 12 February.
- Six people were killed at a suspected drug den on 11 July.
Community activist Pamela Mabini, who was at the scene of Sunday’s attack, described the incident as senseless.
“It’s time for meaningful action to address the root causes of gun violence in our society,” Mabini said.
“We must come together, regardless of our differences, to protect our communities and ensure a safer future for all to work together with police.”
Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nomthetheleli Mene said police are committed to bringing those responsible to book.
“The safety and well-being of our communities remain our utmost priority, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that justice is served,” she said.
Pictured above: Victims of mass shootings
Image source: Supplied