Police launch manhunt after 5 killed in Alexandra

Police in Gauteng have launched a manhunt for unknown armed suspects after five people were fatally shot and another five injured at different locations in Alexandra on Thursday evening.

Gauteng South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo said it was alleged that about four armed suspects went on to rob and shoot people in the area.

Police Minister Bheki Cele is on Friday expected to visit the area.

He said: “It is reported that the suspects first met people travelling in a Toyota Etios on Fourth Avenue and Selborne Street and fired shots at them. One person was injured.

“The second incident occurred at Eleventh Avenue and Boulevard Street where the suspects found two people sitting in a car charging cell phones as there was no electricity in the area, due to load shedding. The suspects robbed the victims of their cell phones before shooting them. Both victims were taken to medical care centres for treatment.”

He said the suspects came across the next victim at Boulevard Street, where he was fatally shot.  The next victim was shot at Seventh Avenue where he died on the scene while two people were robbed of their cell phones and shoes.

Masondo said the suspects met and shot three people at Sixth Avenue.

“One person was fatally wounded while two victims were taken for medical treatment.

“It is reported that the last shooting happened at Sixth Avenue and Roosevelt Road where two people were shot while inside the Toyota Avanza. Both victims died at the scene,” he said.

The police have opened five cases of murder, five of attempted murder and armed robberies.

Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, on Friday strongly condemned the random shootings

He subsequently assembled a team, comprising of different units of the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies, to search for the suspects.

Masondo said one person was arrested after he was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition in Alexandra.

“The suspect is still being profiled to establish if he is linked to the shootings. The firearm will be taken for ballistic test to determine if it was used in the commission of crime,” he said.

He said police management was concerned about the proliferation of firearms in Alexandra and operations to recover such weapons are continuing.

“Police are appealing to anyone who might have information that could help in the investigation or assist in the apprehension of the suspects, to please call the nearest police station or crime stop on 08600 10111 or by giving a tip-off on the MySAPS app. All information received will be treated as strictly confidential,” he said.