Cape Town - As part of a group of peace ambassadors in Hanover Park, Keagan de Silver, 17, was involved in educating his community about the benefits of peace.
On Wednesday, the Grade 11 pupil from Mount View High School was shot five times in a spaza shop close to home.
His mother, Natasha Williams, said emergency services took their time in taking him to hospital.
He took his last breath while she was holding him.
Williams said her son was caught in a gang shoot-out while at the shop.
Keagan’s grandmother, Sophia Hendricks, said, “living conditions in Hanover Park are becoming worse, gangsterism is all over this place”.
“Our children are killed like dogs and the police are doing nothing about it.”
De Silver’s family, teachers and friends gathered at Mount View High to share comforting words and reminisce about Keagan.
De Silver was part of the peace ambassadors group in Hanover Park, which focused on freeing the community from violence.
Professor Brian Williams, who is training the young peace ambassadors, said he started this initiative because of bloodshed in the community.
De Silver was in his training group.
“Peace is everyone’s responsibility. Individuals, community members and community leaders must be actively involved in peacemaking. Let us be committed in building the journey to create a new Hanover Park,” said Williams.
“We have embraced the spiritual call for peace to oppose the scourge of violence that has caused suffocating clouds of war to strangle the life out of the community.”
Michaela Carolus said she knew Keagan from school and was in the same peace ambassador group with him.
She described him as a warm-hearted person. “Keagan was never disrespectful towards teachers,” said Carolus.
His best friend, Kean Widz, who knew Keagan from a young age, was in tears while describing their friendship.
“My friend was a different person: optimistic and very much opinionated. I used to call him a genius, because he always brought truth to everything I asked.”
Mount View principal Heinrich Bowers said Keagan was looking forward to being in Grade 12 next year.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Keagan’s family and friends as they face the sorrow and pain of this tragedy.
“It is a tragic injury and a loss of life, especially when it involves children.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said at about noon on Wednesday, in Athwood Road, opposite Solent Court, Hanover Park two males aged 15 and 17 were shot and killed.