Child shooting: Accused's family defend him

Lindray Khakhu’s sister has denied allegations that her brother shot three-year-old Luke Tibbetts.

The mother of a man allegedly implicated in the shooting of a Westbury toddler tries to avoid cameras while standing outside the Sophiatown Magistrates Court on Tuesday 5 August 2014 ahead of his appearance. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of a Westbury man accused of wounding three-year-old Luke Tibbetts during a gang shoot-out has denied he fired shots at anyone.

Three-year-old Tibbetts remains in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the head by a stray bullet while sitting on his mother's lap at the back of a vehicle transporting them on Saturday.

Lindray Khakhu made his first appearance in the Sophiatown Magistrates Court earlier on Tuesday.

Policemen stand outside the Sophiatown Magistrates Court on 5 August 2014 ahead of the appearance of a man allegedly implicated in the shooting of Westbury toddler Luke Tibbetts. Picture: Sapa

The court heard that Khakhu is facing three other criminal cases including attempted murder charges.

Dressed in jeans and a jumper, the 22-year-old was informed by the magistrate that should Tibbetts's condition change, one of the attempted murder charges he faces could be changed to that of murder.

Angry community members sat in the public gallery.

A woman said tempers are flaring in the community and residents have threatened to torch the accused's mother's house.

The accused's family also attended court proceedings and were visibly upset over Khaku being charged.

They claim he has done nothing wrong.

Khaku's sister Lindsey Campbell, who was present during Saturday's shooting, has denied her brother had anything to do with the incident.

"Do they have evidence that he shot the boy? These people can go on saying they will burn down our house but they weren't there."

Meanwhile, Westbury residents say they are stunned to hear that Khaku already has three criminal cases pending against him.

TIBBETTS'S FAMILY NOT GIVING UP

Tibbetts's family say they are trying not to lose hope and are praying he'll make a full recovery.

The three-year-old's uncle Llewelyn Valentines said it's been a difficult week and the family is shattered.

Valentines says Saturday's shooting had nothing to do with a gang fight, contrary to what the accused's relatives have said.

He says it was an isolated crime and had nothing to do with gangsterism or drugs in Westbury.

The case has been postponed until next week.

Video: Premier David Makhura visits Westbury.

CHILDREN CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

Recently, there have been a number of incidents reported where a child has been caught in the crossfire of crime.

A five-year-old girl who was shot and wounded yesterday by suspected gangsters is now recovering in hospital.

The child and her mother were at their neighbours' house in Delft when two men allegedly opened fire.

A stray bullet hit the young girl in the foot.

Last month, four-year-old Taegrin Morris was killed in a hijacking in Boksburg after he was dragged behind his parents' hijacked car.

In another incident last month, a five-year-old girl was shot in the back in Wesbank near Delft in suspected gang-related violence.

In a separate incident, a one-year-old girl was discharged from hospital last month after she was wounded in gang crossfire in the same area.

She was admitted to the health facility following a drive-by shooting .

The toddler was in her mother's arms while walking to a nearby shop when the incident occurred.