A group of armed criminals terrorised parts of Centurion over the weekend, resulting in the killing of a two-year-old child during a robbery.
The toddler was shot in the head at about 10.50pm on Saturday in an alleged attempted hijacking near Monavoni, Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.
He said the child’s mother continued driving and only stopped when she noticed an ambulance along the road. “Paramedics from various services worked fervently to stabilise the critically wounded child at the scene,” said Botha. “They then airlifted him to a specialised hospital for the care he required.”
However, the child died at Kalafong Hospital on New Year’s Day. Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said cellphones and cash were stolen from the child’s parents and a manhunt was launched for the criminals.
The gun-wielding men, believed to be a group of two to four, are thought to have also shot and wounded four other victims in Olievenhoutbosch.
ALSO READ: Two held over fatal stabbings near Brits
“Two were shot during house robberies,” said Dlamini. “The suspects then stole several household goods and cellphones.”
On the same night, two other victims were attacked by the armed group while driving near a local tavern.
“One was shot in the leg and another in the upper body. The suspects fled without taking anything. It is believed the motive was to rob.”
ER24 paramedics said they attended to a male patient with gunshot wounds in the same area after they were called to a nearby police station to be escorted to the scene, spokesperson Russel Meiring said.
“Upon arrival, ER24 paramedics found one male patient had sustained gunshot wounds to his back and neck. The man was in a critical condition and taken to hospital.”
Dlamini said it was believed the same group of suspects might be responsible for various crimes in the area.
“The suspects might be locals and police are already following several leads to identify them. Police are appealing to the community in Olievenhoutbosch to isolate these criminals and report their whereabouts to the nearest police station.”