A soldier last Wednesday, stormed the home of his wife’s parents armed with an AK 47 assault rifle, fired about 20 shots, killing her and her two young siblings and injuring his one-year-old son before shooting himself in a failed suicide attempt in New Magwegwe suburb, Zimbabwe following an infidelity row.
The soldier, 23-year-old Carlos Chapeyama, who is based in Gweru and his 18-month-old son Tlowi Chapeyama whom he shot once on the leg, are battling for life at Mpilo Central Hospital.
His wife, Ashley Phiri (21) and her siblings, Nkosivumile Ncube (16) and Rita Nkomo (23) died on the spot.
Ms Phiri’s 81-year-old granny, Mrs Esther Nkomo managed to flee from the house when Chapeyama went berserk and started shooting the deceased while another relative, Mr Sipho Ndlovu (34) hid in the lounge where he had been sleeping when the mayhem started at around 1am.
The suspect allegedly fired about 20 shots during a power outage caused by the rains, killing his three victims on the spot.
Chapeyama and his wife lived in Mutare but she is alleged to have recently returned to her parents, accusing Chapeyama of physically abusing her.
Zimbabwe National Army Public Relations Director, Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore, said Chapeyana was yesterday under military police guard at the hospital.
“The ZNA regrets to announce the occurrence of a family shooting incident which happened in New Magwegwe, Bulawayo. The circumstances of the shootout are that a member of the ZNA, Private Chapeyama, had a long standing dispute with his wife, the now deceased Ashley Phiri.
“On the day in question, the ZNA member had been assigned night guard duties at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation transmitter at Guinea Fowl, Gweru. He then finished his duty and sneaked out of the camp with his service rifle. He then travelled to Bulawayo with the AK47 folding butt rifle concealed in a bag. Pvt Chapeyama went straight to his in-laws’ house,” said Lt Col Makotore.
He said Chapeyama randomly opened fire on the three deceased sisters, killing them on the spot. Lt Col Makotore said the child who was also shot survived but sustained serious injuries.
“After the shooting, Chapenya tried to commit suicide by turning the rifle on himself but was seriously injured. The perpetrator, Pvt Chapeyama, is now detained under heavy Military Police guard at Mpilo Hospital. The child is admitted at the same hospital,” he said.
Lt Col Makotore said the army will assist in the burials of the deceased.