Communities take to the streets after Cape Town teen killed in gang crossfire

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About 50 school children, members of neighbourhood watch and parents marched from Aqeelah Schroeders school in Delft to her home.
About 50 school children, members of neighbourhood watch and parents marched from Aqeelah Schroeders school in Delft to her home.
  • A teenage girl has been killed after she was caught in gang crossfire in Cape Town.
  • The girl had been walking home from a local shop when she was shot.
  • Community members in Delft have marched in protest against the gang violence in the area.

A Cape Town community has taken to the streets in protest after a teenage girl was caught in gang crossfire on Women's Day.

Aqeelah Schroeder, 15, later died in hospital.

The teen was walking to a shop in Delft, when she was caught in crossfire between rival gangs, said police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk.

"On arrival at the scene, [officers] found the victim lying on the ground on her stomach with a gunshot wound to her right shoulder," said Van Wyk.

"The suspects fled the scene on foot," he added. 

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Aqeelah was taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention, but succumbed to her injuries.

A case of murder is being investigated and no arrests have been made, said Van Wyk.

Members of the local neighbourhood watch and pupils from the area took to the streets on Wednesday, marching from the young girl's school to her home.

Aqeelah's devastated sister, Tiffiney Carolisen, 24, who was at the forefront of the march, urged the police to catch her sister's killers. 

Her emotional mother, Vanessa Carolisen, 66, was still reeling in shock, saying the family was struggling to come to terms with what had happened.

Ward councillor Michelle Adonis said the community was “distraught, frustrated and angry” after yet another shooting.

“She just went to the shop and on her way home was caught in crossfire. We’ve lost one of our youths,” said Adonis.

She added: 

Our communities are being kept hostage. They are too afraid for their kids to be outdoors. Community members fear for the lives of the children. Too many people fall victim [to gang violence].

Adonis said the community used the march to petition their local police for increased visible policing, investigation work that resulted in convictions, and protection for those coming forward with information on gang activity.

Tuesday’s shooting mirrors one from just over a year ago, where a 13-year-old girl was shot during gang violence in Delft. She died in hospital later.

Three other people, including the girl's father, were killed in the shooting spree on the corner of Umvoti and Sabi streets. The girl and her father had been at a local spaza shop when rival gangs started shooting at each other.

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