Updated Jul 10, 2022 - World

At least 14 killed in mass shooting in South Africa

South Africa police after shooting in Soweto

South African Police Service (SAPS) officers enforce a perimeter around a crime scene where 14 people where shot dead in a tavern in Soweto on July 10. Photo: Emmanuel Croset/AFP via Getty Images

At least 14 people were killed early Sunday morning in a mass shooting at a tavern in Soweto, South Africa, that left nine others injured, South African police said in a statement.

Driving the news: Shortly after midnight, a group of men armed with rifles and 9-millimeter pistols entered the tavern and began shooting at random, per the statement.

  • According to police, 23 people were shot in the tavern, with 12 dying at the scene and 11 being transported to a local hospital with injuries. Two more people succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.
  • "The police opened 14 cases of murder and nine of attempted murder," the statement added.

What they're saying: “The primary investigation suggests that these people were enjoying themselves here, in a licensed tavern operating within the right hours,” Gauteng province police commissioner Lt. Gen. Elias Mawela told AP.

  • “All of a sudden they heard some gunshots, that is when people tried to run out of the tavern. We don’t have the full details at the moment of what is the motive, and why they were targeting these people,” Mawela added.

The big picture: Four people were killed and eight others injured in a separate shooting late Saturday night in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, local police said in a statement.

  • Police said they didn't believe the two shootings were linked, and it remains unclear how many participants took part in either shooting, Reuters reported.
  • Late last month, more than 20 people were found dead at a nightclub in East London, South Africa.
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