File photo

Cape Town - Police have arrested a teenager and three men after they were caught in possession of illegal firearms with filed-away serial numbers and one with ammunition, after four men were wounded in several shootings in Manenberg on Thursday.

Manenberg police launched an impromptu search operation soon after the shootings, in which three men were wounded, and found the firearms in an area around Swartkop Street where, they say, residents are often unco-operative and act in support of the local gangs.

The first shooting happened at 10.30am on Thursday when a 21-year-old man was shot in Thames Avenue by an unknown man, who fled the scene.

At 5pm, two men aged 27 and 37 were shot in the same street, also by an unknown man.

Then, at 5.45pm, a 22-year-old man was shot in Swartkop Street, not far from the scenes of the previous two shootings.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said police had reason to believe that the incidents were linked.

Investigators had not ruled out the possibility that the shootings were gang related, he said.

The wounded men had been admitted to hospital.

When police arrived at the scene, there was a brief stand-off between them and local residents, some of who might have been gang members, a witness at the scene said.

Police then launched a search operation and found the firearms and ammunition. One firearm was found on a 17-year-old in First Avenue, Sherwood Park.

Then, police arrested two men, both aged 20, for being in possession of another firearm, in Thames Avenue, where the first shooting took place.

Continuing their search of the street, officers arrested a 27-year-old man in possession of a firearm, before finding a man in possession of illegal ammunition in a nearby block of flats, Audrey Court.

The weapons and the arrested men have not yet been linked to the shootings.

Cape Argus