Ten killed, five survivors all from one family in mass shooting bloodbath on Friday, after fall-out with neighbors
Ten members of the same family ranging in age from 15 to 63, seven of them women, were executed in their sleep by four man team
Killings come after family patriarch who was to be a state witness in another murder case was gunned down in November
The family were asleep when they were ambushed by the gunmen at a home in the city of Pietermaritzburg in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province
Two male suspects are in custody, while third male suspect was killed in a shootout with police hours after the murders
Man hunt on for last of four-man hit squad who escaped, but police said his identity is known
A body is moved at the scene of a deadly mass shooting is seen, near Pietermaritzburg, SA, on Friday during which 10 members of the same family, including 7 women and a child, were killed in a mass shooting inside their home while they slept
Ten members of the same family, seven of them women and at least one of them a child, have been killed today in a mass shooting at a house in South Africa, police said.
The family was ambushed by a group of gunmen and shot dead at their home overnight in the city of Pietermaritzburg in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, police said.
Police canvassing the area after hours after the murders ran into four men who opened fire on cops.
One suspect who was injured the shootout with police was arrested alongside a second suspect. A third man was killed. The fourth suspect escaped but his identity is known and he is being sought, Police Minister Bheki Cele said.
Firearms believed to have been used by the suspects have been seized by the police, who are yet to confirm a motive for the shooting.
Family member is consoled at the scene of a deadly mass shooting where 10 of her relatives were shot dead
Police investigate the scene where an suspected gunman was shot by the police
A body is moved at the scene of a deadly mass shooting, near Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on Friday
Siyabonga Mndebele, a woman said to be a close family friend of the victims, told reporters that the family had strained relations with another local family due to a separate incident.
According to Mndebele, today’s fatal attack came after the family’s patriarch, Themba Memela, who happened to be a witness to another assault, was gunned down last year.
Memela who was shot in November reportedly, would have been a state witness to an attack that left another family member paralyzed after they were accused of theft.
Police responding to calls to reports of gunfire on Friday morning, discovered the grisly scene.
‘When they attended to the scene, they found 10 members of one family were shot and fatally wounded in one of the homes,’ police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said.
One of the two suspects [photo] taken into custody after ten members of a family murdered in South African home after fallout with neighbors
At the scene, emergency services personnel were seen loading the bodies of the victims into a morgue van.
South Africa’s Times Live reported the names of the dead: Phumlani Memela, 28, Nompilo Mthembu Mthiyane, 21, Andiswa Nana Ngcobo, 15, Beatrice Memela, 63, Brenda Memela, 38, Fikile Hlabisa, 53, Nomfundo Memela, 20, Aphelele Memela, 18, Siphesihle Memela, 17 and Sabelo Mhlonyana, 15.
‘It’s a crime scene, terrible. Too many people were lost here,’ Police Minister Bheki Cele said.
Five members of the family -Akhona Ndlovu, 22, Phumlani’s twin Philani Memela, 28, Lethuse Mbhele, 4, Siyabonga Memela, 5 and 8-year old Ayanda Manunu Memela, who was shot in the leg – survived the attack.
A few hours later, cops confronted four men on a street about a mile from the house where the mass shooting occurred and the men shot at officers: ‘Police shot back, killed one, injured one, who is arrested, and one is arrested uninjured. One has run away,’ Cele said, adding, ‘Fortunately they know who ran away.’
The suspect who was killed was ‘notorious’ and linked to other crimes in the area, Cele said, although he didn’t offer a motive for the mass shooting.
Police were also questioning the driver of an e-hailing taxi who is believed to have previously transported the suspects when they were suspected of committing other crimes.
EMTs were seen loading the bodies of the victims into a morgue. Seven of them women, were killed in their sleep on Friday after a fallout with neighbors in the city of Pietermaritzburg in South Africa
One of the victims is seen on a banking next to the family’s home. The family were ambushed by a group of gunmen and shot dead at their home in the city of Pietermaritzburg in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, police said. Ten members of the family were killed
Firearms believed to have been used by the suspects have been seized by officers, who are yet to provide a motive for the shooting
Neighbors look at police and medics working at the scene of the shooting in Pietermaritzburg
The massacre marks the second mass shooting in KwaZulu-Natal this week after four people were shot dead in a home in the city of Durban on Thursday.
Shootings are common in South Africa, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates with around 20,000 people killed every year out of a population of 60 million.