“I would rather die than become a gangster”. These are said to be the words Bradwin Petersen, 22, told his grandmother and his family think this could be why he was targeted in a drive-by shooting last week.
Bradwin, father of a 3-year old girl, was sitting in a car with his friends in front of his grandmother’s house just after 12pm on Sunday February 21 where he lived in Peter Charles Street, something they often did on Sundays.
Last Sunday, however, a car stopped close to them, two men got out and fired shots directly at Bradwin and his friend who was in the driver’s seat.
Bradwin died on his way to Retreat Community Health Centre and his 21-year-old friend was injured in the shooting.
Speaking on behalf of the family, his brother Chadwin Petersen, who is also a youth activist, said Bradwin was not a gangster and worked.
But he had friends he grew up with who are part of gangs: ““My brother did not have any gang tattoos and was not part of a gang. We think he was targeted because of the association with his friends or that gangsters tried to recruit him but he refused.”
Chadwin said his brother was well-loved and just a week before the shooting he suggested they start a five-a-side soccer tournament in the community.
“He was a very good goalkeeper and he asked me to start a programme in Cafda for the youth because there is nothing for our youth. They are not being capacitated or enabled – there’s a lack of positive things to do and they get lost to the streets and to gangs.
“He was a bit of a naughty child and he would always irritate me at home but that was just how he was. He was one of the most kind-hearted people who always went the extra mile for other people and was ready to run when anyone needed him.”
Bradwin is survived by his 3-year-old daughter, mother, father, grandparents and five siblings.
No arrests have yet been made and his friends who were with him in the car say they did not see the shooters.
Steenberg police spokesman, Sergeant Wesley Twigg, said they are investigating.
Police are asking anyone with information that can help solve the murder and attempted murder cases to come forward.
Meanwhile, Grassy Park police are also investigating a case where 15-year-old Kimberly Josephus was shot and killed in Lotus River on Saturday February 26.
Grassy Park police spokeswoman, Captain Wynita Kleinsmith said according to witnesses the girl was sitting outside in Eland Avenue in Lotus River when two men started shooting at about 7.30pm.
“According to witnesses the two men shot several shots down the road. The deceased ran to her home where she collapsed in the lounge. That was when it was discovered that she was shot once in the back. She died on the scene.”
Captain Kleinsmith said a suspect shot at a Six Bob gang member but missed him and allegedly shot Kimberly instead.
The suspect was identified as a 24-year-old Dog Pound gang member who was identified and arrested minutes after the shooting.
He appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday March 1 on charges of murder and attempted murder.
Anyone with any information about the Cafda shooting is asked to contact Steenberg SAPS on 021 702 9000 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111. The information will be treated as confidential.