Teachers, pupils and parents at the Panorama Primary School Welgelegen in Cape Town in South Africa were on Monday met with the news of the death of a 7-year-old Grade 1 pupil at the hands of his father.
The boy, Dylan Neethling, was shot in the early hours of Sunday morning by his 69-year-old father, before the man turned the gun on himself.
According to Western Cape police, the incident took place at around 03:00 on Sunday at the family’s home in Panorama.
In a message posted on its Facebook page, the school sent its condolences to Dylan’s family.
“Today we are very sad to be saying goodbye to a beautiful boy. Your unexpected death is a huge loss for us. We thank the Lord for the great privilege to have had Dylan be part of the Panorama family. Rest in the arms of our Heavenly Father. Till we meet again.”
Many parents and well-wishers responded to the post.
Joanne Elizabeth Lord-Reid wrote: “Sincere condolences to his mom and family. May his little soul rest in peace.”
Lundy Alexander posted: “Our deepest condolences to [Dylan’s mother] and your family. I am so heartbroken to hear this. You are in our thoughts and prayers and may Dylan’s beautiful little soul rest in peace. He will be dearly missed.”
Pictures of Dylan on his mother’s Facebook page depict him as a happy and active boy who played rugby, rode horses and participated in the school’s box cart race in March this year.
Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the incident was under police investigation.
“An inquest and murder case docket was opened for investigation.”