The grief-stricken mother of a Parkwood Estate child whose life was cut short by a hail of bullets in a drive-by shooting has described the emotional last moments of her son’s life. Seven year old Ezra Daniels was playing with friends in Abdullah Moosa road when a bullet struck his neck. He died on the scene.
His mother Desiree Daniels had been watching her favourite Bollywood movies when Ezra ran into the room asking for biscuits. He then ran out to continue playing with his friends and never returned.
“My eldest son came in running saying Ezra was shot. I ran out and saw him lying there. I kneeled down and just kept speaking to him. I was crying and then saw his mouth open…he was struggling to breathe. His one eye opened and closed again while I kept his hands. I couldn’t even speak to him as a few seconds later, he was gone,” she told VOC.
“I can’t even describe how I felt in that moment. I’m just a broken piece.”
Ezra’s four siblings are struggling to cope with his death, but are mourning in their own way, she said.
Parkwood residents are exposed to a barrage of gang bullets on a daily basis, which has claimed the lives of innocent residents. The battle for gang turf and the circulation of illegal guns in Parkwood Estate and other suburbs has been the main contributing factor towards the upsurge in gang violence.
Ezra’s murder was the final straw for some residents who wanted to deal with one of the suspects detained by the police. The police vehicle was attacked with a pick handle damaging the windscreen and body of the vehicle. Police constables were manhandled in the effort to get to this suspect.
“Residents were furious. They want to take revenge and get the people that did this to my poor child…he did nothing to anybody!”
Western Cape police arrested four suspects, one female, 20, and three males, 27, 29 and 33 on charges of murder. They are expected to appear in court on Wednesday. Desiree said she was not interested in coming face to face with her son’s alleged killers.
“They [suspects] go to prison, get out and do the same thing again. I’m so scared for the next child that could go through the same thing my son went through.”
Desiree expressed her gratitude to the community for the overwhelming display of solidarity.
“It’s been wonderful to see the support from my neighbours, family, friends and colleagues. Their support has made me feel much better. Thank you to everyone for their prayers.”
Asked how she would move forward, Desiree says its “one step at a time”
“It’s like my whole has been taken out of my body. I don’t understand why this happened. I just have to trust the Lord.” VOC