Johannesburg - Gauteng police are investigating a case of murder after one person was killed and seven others injured when a man opened fire during a performance at the Hillbrow Theatre on Sunday morning.
The incident took place in the early hours of the morning and allegedly unfolded after a man's cellphone was stolen.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini explained that the man jumped onto the stage while a band was performing and threatened to stop the show unless his phone was returned.
"When the audience tried to intervene, he fired shots randomly and eight people were shot. He fled from the scene on foot.
"One person died and those injured are currently being treated at the local hospital," Dlamini confirmed.
Dlamini confirmed that no arrest had been made and that a manhunt for the suspect had been launched. He appealed to residents with any information on the suspect to help police track him down.
Meanwhile, the Hillbrow Theatre director spoke out on the matter, saying that management and staff members were shocked to learn of the incident.
“The management and staff of the Theatre are in shock and deeply saddened by the unforeseeable and traumatic act of violence in our theatre”, director of the theatre Gerard Bester said.
“Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends of the deceased and heartfelt sympathy to all those who were injured and traumatised by this event."
Bester said that they had rented the theatre space to an independent producer for the music event.
“Additional security is hired for all events at the Hillbrow Theatre, which is also stipulated in the contract for external companies hiring the venue. The Hillbrow Theatre remains committed to providing a safe space for the community it services," he said.
"This unpredictable and violent act of rage is under investigation by the police. The staff and management are refraining from any further comment."
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa also expressed his shock, taking to Twitter to share his thoughts on the incident.
It is with absolute shock & sadness that we have learnt the news of the fatal shooting which took place at the #HillbrowTheatre