Hundreds pray for girl, 4, shot in head
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Cape Town – Hundreds of Hanover Park residents gathered to pray for a four-year-old girl who was struck in the head during a gang shooting.
Chloe van der Westhuizen has lost an eye and will undergo a second operation this week for doctors to attempt to remove the bullet from her head.
Chloe was one of five people who were wounded when a gunman opened fire in Algoa Court after 5pm on Thursday.
According to a source, the gunman was after a 26-year-old gang member and opened fire in the court while children were outside playing.
According to a report by Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) head Major-General Andrè Lincoln, the child was struck in the side of her head along while a 15-year-old girl was shot in the foot.
The AGU, along with Philippi police, immediately launched a manhunt and swarmed the area looking for the gunman.
On Friday morning, they arrested a 20-year-old man who was due to appear in the Athlone Magistrate's Court on Monday on attempted murder charges.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said: “The investigation into the five attempted murders is still under way and a 20-year-old suspect is scheduled to make his court appearance in Athlone.”
Chloe’s devastated ouma, Elizabeth, 54, said: “She was taken to Red Cross Hospital where the doctors had to remove her left eye.
“The first operation was successful and she will undergo a second one to remove the bullet from her head.
“We are praying for her recovery, but we are hartseer. She was just playing with her friends and she was shot like that.“
The Kingdom Christian Church, along with the Leon Jacobs Foundation and the Jacomus Foundation, hosted a service yesterday where they called on everyone to unite and pray for Chloe.
Pastor Leon Jacobs said: “We came out in our numbers to say, ‘listen Mr. Gunman, and you that gave the instruction (to shoot), we want to send a strong message to all involved in this gang war, that life is about decisions and what you decide is what your life will be’.”
Actor Dann-Jacques Mouton, who represented the Jacomus Foundation, said he was shocked when he heard about the shooting and came out to show support for Chloe’s family.
“We must stand together as a community to protect our kids. As a father it saddens me what happened to Chloe.”
Residents also signed a petition calling for the suspect’s bail to be denied.