South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs Player Luke Fleurs Shot Dead

Luke Fleurs, a South African footballer, was shot dead by thieves in Johannesburg on Thursday, the latest tragedy to shock the crime-ridden country, police and his club confirmed.

Fleurs, 24, a defender for Johannesburg’s famed Kaizer Chiefs squad, was gunned late Wednesday night while refueling his car at a gas station in a northern suburb of the city, police said.

“It is with a great deal of sadness that we announce that Kaizer Chiefs player Luke Fleurs tragically lost his life last night during a hijacking incident in Johannesburg,” his team said in a social media post.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Police said Fleurs was waiting to be served at a petrol station in his Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI when he was confronted by two armed men driving a white BMW.

“The suspects pointed him with a firearm and took him out of his vehicle, then shot him once on the upper body. One suspect drove off with the victim’s car followed by his accomplice,” said police spokesman Masondo Mavela.

The footballer was taken to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival, he added.

Authorities said they have opened a murder and car hijacking investigation. A manhunt for the suspects is ongoing. No arrests have been made.

Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa paid tribute to Fleurs on social media.

“I am saddened that yet another life has been cut short due to violent crime. My thoughts are with the Fleurs and Amakhosi family, and the entire South African football fraternity,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, referring to the Kaizer Chiefs team by their nickname.

South Africa has exceptionally high crime rates, which are a major political issue ahead of the May general elections, with opposition parties citing the government’s apparent failure.

According to government estimates, the country averaged nearly 84 homicides per day between October and December.

Kaizer Chiefs is one of South Africa’s best teams, having won a record 53 domestic titles.

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