Cape Town - Two high school pupils have been gunned down outside their Cape Town home, and police are searching for a man they believe can help them with their investigation.
The teenagers were gunned down in cold blood outside their Clarke Estate block of flats on Wednesday night.
Police believe the gunman was known to the group of children.
The victims, Bianka Jacobs, 17, and Shameeg Dammas, 17, pupils at St Andrews Secondary School in Elsies River, died in a hail of bullets while talking to friends at about 8.45pm.
But while Dammas’s relatives said he was at the school, the provincial Department of Education said he was an ex-pupil – a situation similar to that of a boy who was stabbed at Silverstream Secondary School recently.
The shots came from a gun wielded by a gunman known to the victims. The shooter reportedly appeared out of the darkness and fired randomly at the group of school friends.
Police identified Dammas as Charles Damons, but a relative later pronounced and spelt the latter name for the Cape Argus. Police could not confirm if the attack was gang-related or whether Dammas or his killer were linked to gangs in the area.
Police arrived at the scene to find the victims in the street with gunshot wounds to their bodies.
Now police are searching for a man they have identified as Francois Williams, also known as Fawa, as they believe he could help them solve the crime. Residents have alleged that Dammas was the gunman’s intended target.
Residents alleged that Dammas was a member of the 28s gang.
On Thursday morning Jacobs’s mother, Tracey van Wyk, was too distraught to say much about her daughter. She denied a report that her daughter was Dammas’s girlfriend, saying that the two were friends because they lived near each other and attended the same school.
She confirmed that the two were among a group of friends who were outside a block of flats next to Old Stellenbosch Road.
Jacobs was in matric and doing well at school, Van Wyk said. She leaves her mother and a brother.
Dammas was an only child and grew up with his grandmother, Carol Dammas, after his mother died when he was just six months old, said his aunt, Soraya Dammas. He was in Grade 9, his aunt said.
Soraya Dammas said none of his relatives had seen what had happened on Wednesday night, and were reluctant to talk about the shooting.
“We are still waiting for the police to talk to us,” she said.
On Thursday morning, the headmaster of St Andrews visited the bereaved families at home.
“The WCED is saddened by the death of one of their Grade 12 learners from St Andrew’s Sec, Bianka Jacobs,” said department spokeswoman Bronagh Casey.
“Shameeg was not a learner of the school. He was an ex-learner. The department has contacted the school and has offered counselling support for learners,” Casey said. “Our condolences to the friends and family of Bianka.”