Three-year-old Merilyn Adams was a cheeky little girl who could never be quiet, her sister Meagan says.
While sitting with her mom and dad around a fire in front of their home in Heather Park, Eerste River, she played and chatted away for the last time on Tuesday night.
The toddler died after being shot in the head when gunmen opened fire in Normandie Street at about 20:30.
Meagan, 22, told News24 she had been sitting inside their house with her two siblings and a friend, while her mother Susanna and father Henry sat at the fire with their baby girl.
She heard a volley of shots go off outside and hid behind the couch as the bullets flew, she recalled.
“When it stopped, my dad pushed my mother into the house. She had been sitting on my mom’s lap. My mom felt her arm was wet and they only saw Merilyn had been shot when they got inside.
“My sister didn’t cry, she didn’t scream. She didn’t even say eina. Her face was full of blood.”
A relative who lives close by rushed the little girl to the Eerste River Hospital, less than 2km away.
“My uncle drove fast. She was still alive. When they got to the hospital, she died in my mother’s arms.”
It is believed that little Merilyn was killed by gangsters who opened fire on the wrong house, said Julian Unthank, former chairperson of the local community police forum and current chair of Concerned Residents Against Crime.
According to him, it was believed that a nearby property was the target.
After Merilyn was hit, he said a shootout ensued as people from the other house came outside and opened fire.
The gunmen fled.
Anti-Gang Unit officers deployed to the scene followed up on “suspicious movement” at a nearby house, police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said.
“Information led them to another house in the same street. Upon searching the house, they found five firearms, including a shotgun. Two teenagers were among the five suspects arrested in the search,” she confirmed.
An emotional Susanna was not immediately able to talk about what had happened when News24 reached her on Wednesday.
Meagan said she would miss everything about her little sister.
“She was so cheeky. But everyone liked her because she was so friendly.
“I always scolded her when she was naughty. When I would threaten to give her a hiding, she would laugh and tell me to catch her first before running away,” Meagan laughed.
She will have to get used to her not being there anymore, she said.
“We were four kids. Now, we’re only three.”