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Gun violence a daily concern in Florida

Resident fears waking up in the morning with a loved one dead beside him.

Residents are concerned for their survival when gun violence erupts in the area.

In the early hours of September 17, Chris Willemse woke up to a loud sound similar to that of a balloon popping. He quickly ran through the house to check if everything was alright, however, he found nothing at fault and went back to sleep. The next morning he awoke to find a bullet on his bed.

Willemse continued this was not the first time he was faced with this terrifying situation. Some time ago he stopped at a near accident site to help, only to be confronted by an angry driver threatening to shoot him, while holding him at gunpoint.

Chris Willemse shows where the bullet came through his roof. Photo: Supplied.

He noted: “What concerns me most about the situation however was not just being held at gunpoint, but my wife and children were in the car. My wife was the one who saw the gun first and warned me. He stated he opened cases with the police for both of these instances.

Colonel Lefa Tsotetsi, Florida Police’s Station Commander confirmed the person who held Willemse at gunpoint was taken to court but the case was withdrawn. Willemse was also given feedback on the case of the bullet entering his home which was that it is still under investigation.

The bullet where it landed on the bed. Photo: Supplied.

He stated gun violence is such a regular occurrence in the area, that hearing gunshots at any time is a regularity. He explained a situation where they would be at friends having a braai and suddenly gunshots would ring out. Everyone would then huddle under the roof so as not to get hit by stray bullets.

He also mentioned, “After finding the bullet on my bed, I notified the CPF of what happened and numerous residents responded with similar incidents that had happened to them.”

The father of two young girls questions what if he wakes up one morning to find his children dead, due to the irresponsible actions of unknown individuals.

“One never knows, either you get robbed, or they come into your house or they hijack you in front of your driveway, but now it is these shootings, there is just no end to it,” concluded Willemse.

Tsotetsi concluded, “The station is dealing with the problem of firearms-related crimes including carjacking and armed robberies. Today [September 19] one suspect was arrested with possession of an unlicensed firearm.”

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