Air rifle death: ‘Don’t judge too quickly’

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Independent Newspapers


Cape Town - Police are investigating the death of a Bellville woman after it was alleged that her 10-year-old daughter accidentally shot and killed her with an air rifle on Christmas Eve.

The 45-year-old woman died in hospital after the incident which happened in Oude Westhoff, Bellville. More commonly known as a pellet gun, the rifle is believed to have been a gift to the woman’s son, aged 12.

Police were tight-lipped on Friday about the identity of the family, and would provide no further details. But after outrage sparked on Facebook newsfeeds about the parents’ responsibility in choosing the rifle as a gift, a family friend posted an explanation as to what had happened.

“She (the daughter) posed with the pellet gun for a photo. It was a freak accident. The family is shattered. Don’t judge too quickly,” posted Carel-Johann de Bruin, who said he knew the family.

He said the woman had died of blood loss as a result of the pellet hitting an artery. But, De Bruin did acknowledge that there should have been “more responsibility” with regards to the handling of the rifle.

He said that the father and children would “forever suffer pain and blame themselves” for what had happened.

Provincial police spokesman Andre Traut said they could not release the identity of the mother to protect the identity of the daughter, who is a minor.

He confirmed that the woman was shot on Christmas Eve.


He said the woman died later in hospital.

An inquest docket had been opened and the circumstances around her death were being investigated.

Weekend Argus

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