'We thought he would': Family devastated as life support is turned off for boy shot in the head

‘We thought he would’: Family devastated as life support is turned off for boy shot in the head

The Red Cross Memorial Children's Hospital where nine-year-old Tiano Anthony died after an accidental shooting in Mannenberg on Sunday.

The Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital where nine-year-old Tiano Anthony died after an accidental shooting in Mannenberg on Sunday.

Red Cross Hospital via Twitter

  • Nine-year-old Tiano Anthony died at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital on Monday night.
  • He was shot in the head on Sunday, allegedly by a family friend who was cleaning his gun.
  • Police have arrested a 34-year-old man in connection with his death.

A child who was shot in the head died, in what was believed to be an accidental shooting.

Nine-year-old Tiano Anthony succumbed to his injuries at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town on Monday evening.

He had been shot the previous day by a man who was alleged to be a gangster.

The family confirmed that the suspect, who was arrested for the murder, was living with them.

“We only found out when the police arrested him that he did it.

“We think this could have been an accident and that it could have been avoided,” said Michelle Malgas, Tiano’s aunt.

“He loved our children so much; I can’t imagine him hurting them in any way. We saw him with them every day.”

Read | A boy, 9, has died in a Cape Town hospital after allegedly being shot in the head while the suspect was cleaning a gun.

It is believed that the man was cleaning his gun when a shot rang out.

Tiano’s mother, Bernice Anthony, 40, said she received a call from the hospital on Monday.

She added that she was told she needed to make her way there as a decision had to be made on the life support machine that was keeping him alive.

Sad Bernice said:

The injuries he sustained were severe and he was in great pain.

According to Malgas, the family did not want to turn off the device, but the medical staff told them there was nothing they could do to save his life.

“We didn’t want them to turn off the machine because we thought it would work because he’s a fighter.

“But there was no chance of him surviving, unfortunately,” she said.

Malgas added that the device had already been turned off when they arrived at the hospital.

She said staff told them nothing more could be done with Tiano because his injuries were “very severe”.

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“It is heartbreaking. No words can describe the pain we are feeling right now.

She added, “Knowing that our loved one will never return, that he died from a bullet that was not intended for him, is an pain I cannot explain.”

Western Cape Police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyck said a 34-year-old man had been arrested in connection with Tiano’s death.

Once charged, the suspect will appear in court on Thursday, and his bail will be contested.

Van Wyck added that investigators found a gun believed to have been used in the shooting, saying, “It will be sent for ballistics testing.”

Tiano’s grandmother, Nora Anthony, said she was on her way home from church when she saw her grandson lying on the ground with dozens of neighbors huddled around him.

She added:

My heart hurts so much. He used to lie next to me every night. He was a wonderful smiling little boy who, for some reason, loved hearing me scold his older brothers.

“I am so sad about what happened outside my house that day. I don’t think the pain will ever go away.”

Malgas said constant gunfire between Hard Livings and the Fancy Boys plagued the area.

“Gangs are a big problem in this area. We’ve had many holes in our gate since our house was shot. I hope there will be a gang-free life.”

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“Our children can’t even play in the street during the school holidays.”

Tiano’s family now faces the agonizing task of preparing for his funeral next weekend.

Police said they will continue to conduct high-visibility patrols in Mannenberg.

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