“My whole life was in that house.”
These are the words of Johan Schwartz as he stood outside his home on Friday where his wife and three children died on Wednesday, according to Netwerk24.
Gauteng police are investigating what exactly happened just after 17:00 on Wednesday when Leigh-Anne (16), Sheree (19) and Simeon Schwartz were shot dead in their home in Sallies village in Brakpan. Their mother Sandra (39) was found with a gunshot wound to the head.
News24 had reported that it was suspected that Sandra had shot the three children before setting their house alight and turning the gun on herself.
Police spokesperson Captain Pearl van Staad told News24 on Thursday that the weapon used belonged to Johan. He claimed to have been at work at the time of the incident.
A neighbour who rushed to the scene after hearing Johan’s screams told EWN he was shocked by what he saw when he entered the house.
“We saw the people lying on the ground in the room because it was right across where you come out of the bedroom and we saw the people lying in there but the smoke was so bad that you could see what was happening so we tried to get through to the emergency services [sic].”
Jan Symons told Netwerk that he didn’t believe his sister could have killed the children and herself.
He said the shot was just above her left eye, which doesnt make sense as she was right-handed. He added that she really loved the children.
Neighbour Pearly Kroezen described Sandra was a loner. She added that she regularly fought with her children, and that they had called the police a month ago because things had got so bad. She told Netwerk that she never heard the gunshots on Wednesday.
Van Staad told the Afrikaans online publication that police are investigating three cases of murder and a judicial inquiry. The dossier has also been handed over the organised crime unit. She added that it will take two to three weeks to collect the forensic evidence before having a clearer answer on what could have transpired last Wednesday.