Tibbetts shooting: Suspect already facing 18 charges

The 3-year-old was shot in the head by a stray bullet while sitting on his mother's lap.

Lindray Khakhu appears in the Newlands Magistrates Court in Sophiatown on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 in connection with a shooting in Westbury that critically wounded Luke Tibbetts, a three-year-old boy who later died. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Newlands Magistrates Court has heard that one of the men allegedly involved in the Westbury shooting is also facing 18 charges including murder and attempted murder.

Three-year-old Luke Tibbetts was shot in the head by a stray bullet while sitting on his mother's lap at the back of a vehicle transporting them in Westbury on 2 August in a suspected gang-related incident.

Tibbetts died on Friday 8 August after being on life support for six days.

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting - Lindray Khaku and Keenan Mokwena.

The state has requested that Kakhu's case be moved to the High Court.

He was arrested after community members witnessed the shooting and alerted police.

During his last court appearance, he was charged with two counts of attempted murder but was warned if the boy's condition changed, so would the charges.

Kakhu is expected to appear in the High Court next month on some of the other charges he faces.

Tibbetts will be laid to rest on Saturday in Langlaagte.

At the same time, Mokwena was arrested on 6 August following police investigations and statements implicating him.

He appeared briefly in the Newlands Magistrates Court on 7 August but was not charged with attempted murder as expected, but with pointing a firearm.

Mokwena maintains he is innocent and claims the bullet which wounded Tibbetts was meant for him.

The shooting has sparked widespread outrage across the country and has prompted calls for harsher penalties to be taken against those who commit crimes against children.

The incident came just weeks after the death of four-year-old Taegrin Morris who was killed in a hijacking in Boksburg after he was dragged behind his parents' hijacked car.

Meanwhile, the search for three-year-old Curburne van Wyk's killer has intensified as angry residents continue to search Reiger Park in Boksburg for the man.

Van Wyk was kidnapped while playing outside his family home last Wednesday, apparently by a man known to the community as 'Chicken'.

The toddler's partially burnt body was discovered on a mine dump at the weekend.