Updated report: suspect arrested and firearm recovered in shooting incident of 5-year-old Bethelsdorp girl

Joint efforts by SAPS Bethelsdorp detectives and the Anti-Gang Unit resulted in the arrest of a 22-year-old man and the recovery of the alleged murder weapon.

Detectives have been working around the clock attempting to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old Bethelsdorp girl. As the investigation proceeded, information emerged that on Thursday, 11 August 2022 between 13:00-14:00, three children, two boys aged 6-year-old and a 5-year-old-girl were playing with a firearm in the room at a house in Extension 31 when a shot went off. Detectives established today, that the boy and the girl were cousins and not siblings as initially reported. The other boy was a friend. The girl was taken to hospital by ambulance but succumbed to her injuries late last night, 11 August 2022.

At this stage, it is unclear which of the boys accidentally shot the girl.

On police arrival at the house on 11 August 2022, the firearm was allegedly removed and could not be found.

After following up on several leads, at about 10:50 this morning, 12 August 2022, Anti-Gang Unit members arrested a 22-year-old male in Cleary Park. He is detained on a charge of defeating the ends of justice. Anti-Gang Unit members also recovered the firearm, a revolver, that was allegedly used in the shooting. The firearm was found in an open space in a storm water drain between Extension 21 and 31.

Police have also opened a case of culpable homicide and a charge in terms of the Firearms Control Act, section 119 read with 120(1)(a) in that a person failed to comply with the obligation to ensure that a firearm or ammunition does not come onto the premises and also in terms of 120(2)(a) in that a person failed to report the existence of a firearm or ammunition in unlawful possession of a person.

The firearm will be sent to ballistics for analysis. Ownership is yet to be determined.

The investigation is ongoing.

Source: South African Police Service