A magistrate and four family members have been found dead with gunshot wounds in a home in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban.
Garrith Jamieson, a paramedic from RescueCare, told local news channel eNCA that the team found a scene of “carnage” when they arrived at the property in the southern suburb of Montclair
“My team was here before me, they entered with the EMRS paramedics and were met with carnage. Unfortunately, five people including three children had been killed by gunshot wounds,” he said.
“It’s unknown exactly what led up to the gunshot wounds or who fired the shots however, it’s a gruesome scene, horrific scene,” he added.
Police spokesman Lt Col Thulani Zwane said that “a magistrate” and her husband who is “a court interpreter” including their three primary school-going children were found lifeless in one of the bedrooms of the house.
An update to the story from South Africa’s Timeslive states as follows:
Identities of the deceased
The man has been identified as a 41-year-old interpreter at a Durban court and his wife as a magistrate. Their names have not been revealed.
Their three children were between the ages of nine and 17.
Time of incident
Police have said the incident happened on Wednesday afternoon at about 12.45. They made their way to the scene after they were alerted by relatives of the deceased, who had been unsuccessfully trying to contact them on their cellphones.
Extended family’s reaction
The relatives travelled from KwaDukuza, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, after they received a call from a neighbour, who told them something bad had happened.
Family member Xolani Mkhize said the incident had come as a shock to the family.
The parents of the man, Sipho and Thandi Mkhize, were also present.
A neighbour told TimesLIVE the man had been seen taking his children to school on Wednesday morning. Others said they had not heard any gunshots or screams, and were not aware of the incident until police questioned them
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said an investigation into four murders had been launched and one inquest docket opened. After the investigation, police would confirm whether the deaths were a result of crime or suicide.