The family of a young Parkwood soccer player are trying to make sense of the incident that led to his death while his alleged killer, a shopkeeper, appeared in court this week.
Shelton Williams, 15, was fatally shot and another boy was injured by a Somali national shopkeeper in Heath Road on Thursday May 25 and the circumstances surrounding the incident are still being investigated.
According to the Williams family, Shelton was on his way to the shop to buy milk for a relative but so far no real explanation had been given as to what could have led to his death..
His aunt, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were rumours that Shelton had an argument with the 36-year-old shopkeeper about a lighter.
“He didn’t deserve to die like that no matter what he did. If anyone came to us and told us about Shelton misbehaving we would reprimand him ourselves but no one has the right to shoot and kill a child like that. He loved soccer and had dreams of becoming the next Benni McCarthy and had a whole future ahead of him,” said the emotional aunt.
The woman said community members were upset and wanted to attack the man.“They wanted to get into the shop to get to the shopkeeper because they wanted to hurt him because they were upset that he shot two children,” she said.
Grassy Park police station commander Colonel Dawood Laing confirmed the shooting and said according to reports there was an argument between the shopkeeper, Shelton and two other boys.
“The cause of the argument is still being investigated but it got heated and the man fired two shots in the direction of the boys and it hit the one boy fatally and wounded the other,” he said. When police arrived on the scene they searched the shop, found a gun and arrested the suspect but the community attacked officers and damaged two law enforcement vehicles at the scene.
Colonel Laing said they came under attack while they arrested the suspect because the community wanted to enforce their own justice.
“We cannot allow the community to take the law into their own hands and we implore the community of Parkwood specifically to let us do our job. When police vehicles are being damaged it prevents us from rendering an effective service to the community. We need the community to work with us and not against us,” said Mr Laing.
After the shooting, the shop was broken into and items worth R15 000 were stolen and nine people were arrested for housebreaking and will appear in court later this week.
The man appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday May 29 and will appear again tomorrow, Thursday June 1. The family protested in front of court to oppose bail.
Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF) spokesperson Melvyn Jonkers implored communities to stop attacks on police and to allow officers to enforce the law.
“We have had several cases where police were attacked and we cannot allow for this to continue because they are there to protect the community and attacking officers and taking the law into their own hands is wrong and should not be tolerated,” he said.