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Cape anti-gang unit hunt suspects after five-year-old boy murdered

Valintino Grootetjie was standing outside his kitchen door when gunmen opened fire on Saturday afternoon.

FILE: Members of the SA Police Service’s Anti-Gang Unit are seen in Hanover Park, Cape Town, during the launch of the specialised unit on 2 November 2018. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - More police have been deployed to the Steenberg area in Cape Town following the fatal shooting of a five-year-old boy.

Valentino Grootetjie was standing outside his kitchen door when gunmen opened fire on Saturday afternoon.

The boy was shot several times in the head. A 22-year-old man was also wounded in the attack.

The police’s Novela Potelwa said the man remains in a critical condition in hospital.

“The anti-gang unit and Steenberg police are pursuing specific leads following the shooting. Deployments have been intensified in the area in an effort to restore calm and safety.”

The Steenberg community policing forum's Gavin Walbragh has urged community members to come forward to assist in the police investigation.

“Our detectives will find these perpetrators. The community must start speaking up. Everyone has been shouting about the boy being shot, but no one is prepared to give a statement.”

In a separate incident earlier this month, 10-year-old Ayesha Kelly died after being caught in the crossfire of gun violence. At the same time, a 16-year-old boy was injured during the shooting in the same area.

Two months ago, a 13-year-old girl was also shot and wounded in Hanover Park amid gang violence.

In another incident three months ago, a 12-year-old boy was killed in gang violence. He was one of three children killed in a shooting in Clarkes Estate, in Elsies River. An 18-year-old man also died following the shooting in the Cape Town community.

Additional reporting by Lauren Isaacs & Lizell Persens.