Johannesburg – A father and former police officer killed his daughter and turned the gun on himself after an argument with her at her home in Boksburg on Monday.
This was the fifth incident in the last month involving police officers killing themselves and/or gunning down family members or relatives in the process.
Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed the incident, adding that police were still investigating the circumstances of the shooting.
“It happened after 6am yesterday. Police were informed by the man’s grandson. The male victim was 60 years old and the female victim aged 30,” Dlamini said.
Netcare 911 spokeswoman Athlenda Mathe said the two victims were declared dead on the scene when paramedics arrived.
She said a trauma counsellor was sent to counsel four people who witnessed the shooting, among them three children. “There was a 19-year-old who is the daughter of the male victim and three others who were the children of the female victim.”
The names of the victims have not been released.
In a second incident earlier this month, a Bronkhorstspruit police constable murdered his girlfriend and an ex-girlfriend before killing himself, following a spat.
Also this month, in Cape Town, a police officer shot dead his estranged wife before turning the gun on himself after finding out their divorce had been finalised.
In a fourth incident, a police officer gunned down his wife and daughter in Hammanskraal before killing himself. His wife was shot several times. He then shot their 7-year-old daughter and himself.
Last month, a police officer shot dead his girlfriend at her house in Khayelitsha, before driving to his own house in the neighbourhood, where he shot and killed himself.
Recently-graduated psychologist Manoko Mogoroga, who did her masters’ thesis on suicidal behaviour in the SAPS, said her research showed police face a number of stress factors in their work and are affected on multiple levels.
“Faced with stressful experiences, police officers learn to adapt by incorporating various coping strategies. My study examined the relationship between suicidal ideation and coping strategies in a sample of 125 police officers in KwaZulu-Natal,” she said.
The findings indicated alcohol use correlated with suicide ideation. “The percentage of women police officers was low at 31 percent compared to the male percentage at 68 percent. But female police officers obtained a higher mean score on suicidal tendencies,” said Mogoroga.