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South African detective shot dead eight people

Written by: Staff
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KAGISO, South Africa, Apr 4: A South African detective shot dead eight people including four fellow officers and a one-year-old baby before police killed him, a spokeswoman for the force said today.

The killing spree in Kagiso township west of Johannesburg was shocking even by the standards of South Africa, which has one of the world's highest rates of violent crime.

''We are still trying to establish a motive,'' said police spokeswoman Mary Martins-Engelbrecht.

She said the detective killed three women and the infant baby on Monday night. He then went to his police station in Kagiso where he pumped bullets into four of his colleagues.

The officer continued his rampage in the Sebokeng township south of Johannesburg where he shot and wounded his brother.

''He was finally shot dead himself during a confrontation with police in the early hours of Tuesday morning,'' Martins-Engelbrecht said.

She added that police were still trying to establish what the officer's relationship was to the women and child he murdered and what weapons he used.

Visibly shocked police milled around their station in this small industrial township, whose residents are largely black working and lower middle class. Kagiso has none of the squalor associated with black townships. It has proper housing, water and other social amenities, reporters visiting the area said.

''We are all traumatised. He was a normal guy,'' said a police reservist, referring to the detective.

Kagiso's police station had ground to a virtual halt on Tuesday.

Resident Victoria Pakkies who visited seeking a police report certifying a lost item returned home empty-handed but said she understood.

''We are all very shocked,'' she said.

''It's a shock and a half,'' added David Masidi, an elderly bystander. ''Its a blow to the community. They (police officers) were always very nice, always helpful.'' South Africa's crime rate is fuelled in part by abject poverty and glaring disparities in income.

REUTERS

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