JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Police said Friday that 10 members of the same family, including seven women and a 13-year-old boy, died in a shooting at a South African home.
Hours later, a male suspect was killed in a shootout with police, and two men were arrested. A fourth suspect has fled, but he has been identified and is wanted, Police Minister Beki Hesere said.
According to initial reports, a family was attacked by gunmen at their home in the town of Pietermaritzburg in eastern KwaZulu-Natal, police said.The shooting occurred early Friday morning. Police initially said the victims were seven women and three men, but later announced that at least one child, a teenager, had died.
The oldest victim in the shooting was 65 years old and the youngest was 13, Cell said. He did not specify the ages of the other victims.
Sere, who was at the scene, said police confronted four men on the street about a mile from the house where the shooting took place, and the men opened fire on the officers.
“Police fought back, killed one, arrested him, wounded one, and arrested one uninjured. One escaped,” Cele said. “Fortunately they know who escaped.”
Police seized three firearms.
The suspect killed by police was “notorious” and involved in other crimes in the area, Cere said, but did not disclose a motive for the shooting.
Cele said the scene in the house where 10 people were murdered was “horrifying.”
“Too many people have been lost,” he said.
Police also questioned an e-taxi driver who is believed to have previously transported four men accused of committing other crimes. South Africa has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and has seen a spate of mass shootings in recent years.
In January, eight of him were shot dead at a birthday party in the south coast town of Gqeberha. Last year, gunmen opened fire on customers at a bar in Johannesburg’s Soweto township, killing 16 people.
On the same day as the Soweto shooting, he was shot dead in a Pietermaritzburg bar with 12 people, four of whom died.