A SERIES of gunshots rang out, dispelling the calm in Hime Street, Wentworth on Sunday afternoon, 5 November.
While many residents assumed it was the early discharge of fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day, the piercing exchange of gun fire was the result of a shootout between two rival gangs, while children played outside.
This comes after the death of a year 20-year-old man in the area, who was killed in September in what is believed to be a drive-by shooting.
A concerned citizen was upset by last Sunday’s volley of gunfire as she was outside with her four-year-old grandson who was almost shot. “It’s getting out of hand now and it worries me because of our children’s safety.” She adds that a 15-year-old would have been caught in the crossfire, had she not taken refuge.
Wentworth SAPS spokesman, Captain Mbuso Gumede confirmed the shooting and said a case of attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearm was opened. “This shooting was due to a fight between rival gangs in Hime Street and one man, aged 19 was arrested by a member of the crime prevention unit who happened to be on the scene,” said Capt Gumede.
The officer noticed a man running between the flat blocks carrying a weapon while chasing another man. “The off-duty officer managed to disarm him and the suspect dropped the weapon,” he added.
Three other men aged between 16 and 20 years were also arrested after the area was raided by the vispol members and detectives. They were detained by the police for pointing firearms and attempted murder on different cases that were previously opened by complainants.
Attempts are underway to get the rival gangs to commit to making peace in Wentworth. Ward councillor, Aubrey Snyman said: “We are currently forming a team along with the local SAPS to alleviate this problem by getting the two gangs to sit down together and make peace.” “Residents cannot live in fear and for us to succeed, we must work together,” he added.
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