Johannesburg: South African police are investigating a weekend shooting where eight people were killed and three injured after armed men opened fire at a house birthday party in the city of Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth.
According to police spokeswoman Priscilla Naidu, unknown gunmen entered a residential home in Kwazakhele township and started to randomly shoot people on Sunday afternoon.
The owner of the house was among the dead and it is unclear what the motive for the shooting was, according to police.
“Preliminary investigation at this stage has revealed that between 17:15 and 17:30, the owner of the house was celebrating his birthday when two unknown gunmen entered the yard in Makanda Street in Kwazakhele and started shooting at the guests,” Naidu said.
She said seven people died on the scene while the eighth victim succumbed to their injuries at hospital.
“These victims were killed by criminals and we will not rest until we find out what happened and who was responsible for these callous and cold-blooded attacks on these unsuspecting victims,” Naidu said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and other police officials were on Monday visiting the scene of the incident and talking to local residents.
“We know everybody is hurt and angry. We would have loved to respond quickly, but we will request a little bit of space so that we do the work thoroughly, so that by the time we respond there is no speculation,” Cele told reporters at the scene of the incident.
No arrests have been made but a manhunt for the suspects was underway, police said.