JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – It was a bloody start to 2020 as two women were killed and six people injured in a drive-by shooting in Melville, Johannesburg, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Patrons at a restaurant on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 7th Street were sprayed with bullets just after 1am.
Gauteng police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said a BMW SUV approached from 7th Street and “suddenly, multiple shots were allegedly fired from the BMW at patrons who were sitting outside the restaurant”.
“Eight people were shot, two of whom were declared dead on the scene, while six were rushed to nearby hospitals with two of the six in a critical condition.”
Peters said the deceased women were aged between 30 and 40.
Poppy’s restaurant said in a statement on Facebook that the shooting happened outside the establishment.
“Poppy’s restaurant owner experienced the most tragic event outside her restaurant on 7th Street, Melville in the early hours of this morning,” read the statement.
“Two people who were standing outside her restaurant were shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. The details of the incident are not yet clear as the matter is subject to preliminary investigation by police officials.
“Poppy’s management and staff are deeply saddened by this heart-rending incident and send their deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. The restaurant will be closed until further notice, in order to allow the police to conduct their investigation.”
Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects and appealed for help to identify them.
“Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects, is urged to report to the police by calling the crime stop number 08600 10111 or by giving a tip-off on the MySAPS app, anonymously if they so choose,” said Peters.
Two cases of murder and six attempted murder cases are being investigated.
No arrests have been made.
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela condemned the incident which marred New Year’s celebrations by revellers in Johannesburg. Read here