Couple’s tragic end

Steven and Samantha de Kock with their son.

The Lotus River community are in shock after a tragic murder-suicide on Monday June 11.

Steven de Kock, 32, a former law enforcement auxiliary officer, shot and killed his wife Samantha de Kock, 32, then turned the gun on himself after an argument. The couple have a 6-year-old son.

Samantha, a Grade 2 teacher at Battswood Primary School, in Ottery, was on her way to work when Steven fired shots at her.

Grassy Park police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Wynita Kleismith, said police were called to the shooting at about 8am and found Samantha’s body in front of her neighbour’s gate.

“She died as a result of several gunshot wounds. The man’s body was found in the house, gunshot wound to the head. A murder docket and inquest will be investigated by police,” said Warrant Officer Kleinsmith.

Samantha’s father was also injured during a scuffle with Steven to retrieve the gun which he legally owns.

The couple were separated but were trying to reconcile over the past two months. Police confirmed that no previous cases of domestic violence were reported.

When Southern Mail visited the family home a day after the murder-suicide, the house was quiet and the only sign of the tragedy was gunshot holes in a window pane next to the front door.

Samantha’s cousin, who asked not be named, confirmed that there had been no previous cases of domestic abuse.

The woman said when she saw the couple the previous evening there were no signs that they were having trouble.

The woman recalls hearing an argument on Monday morning but didn’t think it was the couple.

“At about 7.30am I heard arguing and shouting and thought it was the neighbours. I heard what sounded like someone hitting a wooden wall but it was actually gunshots,” she said.

She said Samantha’s father woke up when he heard the first shot and struggled to take the gun from Steven who then hit him with the base of the gun.

“Steven shot Samantha, struggled with his father-in-law and Samantha ran to the neighbours but their gate was locked. Steven then went outside, shot Samantha again and came to their room where he shot himself.”

She said the family is traumatised and their 6-year-old son is being taken care of by his grandmother.

“Samantha was a beautiful person. She became a teacher because it was her calling. She loved kids and loved her son and spending time with him. She will be sorely missed,” said the cousin.

Bronagh Hammond, spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department, said counselling support is being provided for pupils and staff at Battswood Primary School.

She said special care will be given to the Grade 2 class which Samantha taught. “This is a terribly sad incident and our thoughts are with the educator’s family, friends, and the whole school community,” said Ms Hammond.

Richard Bosman, executive director for safety and security, said Steven had previously worked with the Volunteer Law Enforcement Auxiliary Service as a reservist.

“The reservist programme required members to complete a minimum of 16 hours of service per month. The former auxiliary officer (Steven) had not conducted any duties in this capacity for at least six months and was thus no longer considered an active member,” said Mr Bosman.

He extended condolences to the family and friends of Samantha and Steven.