SEVEN months after 4-year-old Scarlett was killed by a stray bullet, her mother Monique Cottle was gunned down during gang violence in Ottery on Friday night.
In September, Ottery residents were shocked by the murder of Scarlett, who was killed after she was hit in the neck and head by a stray bullet while her mother was putting her to bed.
And on Friday shortly after 8pm, Cottle met a similar fate after she was shot while standing outside chatting with friends.
Police confirmed three people were shot, two of whom died at the scene and one, aged 19, was critically injured after being shot in the right arm and both legs.
At the time of her daughter’s murder, Cottle had begged those responsible to hand over themselves to the police.
Her wife, Lindsay Cottle, 32, said after their daughter’s death, Monique grew fearful for her own safety.
“She was scared to walk outside, and, look now, this happened to her. Who is going to have my back or tell me everything is going to be okay on the days when I long to hold our daughter? They took everything away from me.”
Lindsay said Cottle had been with her friends a few metres away from their home when shots rang out.
“I ran (to her) and she was lying there; I had to close her eyes the same way I had to close our daughter’s eyes months ago.”
“It hurts, it really does. We will never be able to see our loved ones again. We live in fear, even just to go buy bread, can turn into your death. Everyone is a target.”
She described her wife as bubbly person, “someone who loved to love, she was so full of life, and now she’s gone”.
A resident who asked to remain anonymous said a car pulled into Hector Avenue and opened fire with about 10 shots before driving off.
“When I got outside, I saw them lying there, the woman and a man. I knew the woman but as people started coming to the scene I learnt that he was also a innocent.”
Another resident who wanted to remain anonymous said the gangsters made them live in fear.
“A child of just three-years-old already knows when you hear gunshots you lie flat on the ground. It shouldn’t be this way. This place is supposed to belong to our children, the next generation. We are more than the gangsters.”
Sources said the shooting came just hours after a shooting incident nearby at Otter Hyper, where one person linked to the Mongrel gang was injured.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said police were investigating if the two incidents were linked.
“SAPS will investigate if it is a revenge attack for the shooting at a shopping centre in Ottery,” he said.
The police said the shopping centre shooting was gang-related and they arrested three perpetrators who tried to flee.
They were carrying three illegal firearms and were believed to be members of the Yuru Cats gang.
Community activist Redaa Ameeroedien said the shootings had become a sad reality of their lives.
“It’s very sad that we are losing our youth, especially the mothers and children. The community is in shock even, though we are used to the shootings.
“This has become the norm; it’s sad that when it’s quiet, it’s considered abnormal. That’s how bad it has become already.”
Ameeroedien added that the solution lay in the community itself.
“We know its not easy, especially because we don’t have trust in our law enforcement agencies, but we need to point these people out. We understand that communities fear the gangs. But we need to get over that fear and not be held hostage.”
Two people were arrested for Scarlett’s murder and will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on May 4.