Suspect arrested, firearm recovered in shooting incident of Bethelsdorp girl (5)

Photo for illustrative purposes.

Photo for illustrative purposes. Getty Images

Police have arrested of a 22-year-old man and recovered the alleged weapon that was used when a 6-year-old boy allegedly shot and killed his 5-year-old cousin by accident.

It was established by the police that the boy and the girl were cousins and not siblings as initially reported.

Detectives at SAPS Bethelsdorp and the Anti-Gang Unit have been working around the clock attempting to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of the 5-year-old Bethelsdorp girl, explained Colonel Priscilla Naidu, police spokesperson.

“As the investigation proceeded, information emerged that on Thursday, 11 August between 13:00 and 14:00, three children – two boys aged 6 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. The other boy was a friend. The girl was taken to hospital by ambulance but succumbed to her injuries on 11 August,” said Naidu.

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

ICYMI | Boy (6) accidentally shoots and kills younger cousin

According to Naidu, the firearm was allegedly removed from the house and could not be found when police arrived at the scene shortly after the incident.

“After following up on several leads, at about 10:50 [yesterday] 12 August, Anti-Gang Unit members arrested a 22-year-old man 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,” Naidu said.