Father kills son outside school in South Africa gun tragedy

A screenshot from a news report on the incident. The father shot his son through a car window.
A screenshot from a news report on the incident. The father shot his son through a car window.SCREENSHOT: YOUTUBE/SABC

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - In a freak accident, a man shot dead his 14-year-old son outside his school in South Africa where he had been waiting to collect him after classes, police said on Wednesday (June 6).

Police have arrested the father, 50, who is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

The man had dropped off his son for evening classes on Tuesday and decided to wait for him outside the high school south of Johannesburg.

He sat in his car, locked the doors and waited inside the vehicle, but then fell asleep.

When the son returned, he knocked on the passenger window to alert his father that he was back.

"The father who was asleep in the car with his firearm on him, got scared by the knocking of his son, he pulled out his firearm and shot towards the direction of the person who was knocking," police spokesman Mpande Khoza said in a statement.

"He then realised that it was his son after he had fired the shot," he said, adding the boy died as he was being taken to hospital.

The school had to postpone exams that were due to take place on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in Ennerdale, a gang-infested township south of Johannesburg.

Violent crime is notoriously common in South Africa, with armed robbery, rape, carjacking and muggings among the biggest threats.