Pellet gun death: ‘no guilt or blame’

2013-12-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — There is no talk of guilt or blame. It was a tragic accident that took the life of a wonderful person.

This was what a family spokesperson yesterday told sister paper Die Burger after the tragedy on Christmas Eve where a 12-year-old girl fatally wounded her 45-year-old mother with a pellet gun in a freak accident. The mother, whose name may not be released to protect the identity of the girl, died in hospital.

The family opened their gifts on Christmas Eve. One of the gifts was a pellet gun for the girl’s 14-year-old brother. His sister picked up the gun, a shot went off and hit the mother in her chest.

She was immediately rushed to hospital, but died despite intensive attempts to save her life.

A memorial service was held for the mother on Saturday in a packed Protea Valley Family Church in Oude Westhof.

The widowed father described his late wife in a eulogy as “an unbelievable mother for our children and one of the most unselfish people I had the privilege of knowing”.

The girl, in her written eulogy, described her mother as someone who gave so much and never expected anything back.

The son wrote that he could not ask for a better mom. “Although our road together was short, it is filled with beautiful memories,” he wrote.

The family said speculation on Facebook, which quoted a local newspaper that the mother was shot while her daughter posed with the pellet gun for a photo, was not true. The family spokesperson added that comments that the family will now live the rest of their live with recriminations are also not true.

He said such speculation made the loss hurt even more and was simply untrue. “This is not how the family live their lives. There is no talk of guilt or blame. It was a tragic accident that took a wonderful person’s life.”

The result of the post mortem to determine the cause of death is not yet known. A judicial inquest will also be held. The family said they would comment once the inquest is done and meanwhile asked for their privacy to be respected during their time of mourning, said the spokesperson.

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