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Luke Fleurs: South African footballer shot dead in car hijacking

Luke Fleurs
Defender Fleurs joined Kaizer Chiefs last October [Kaizer Chiefs]

South African footballer Luke Fleurs has been shot dead in a car hijacking, police say.

The shooting took place at a petrol station on Wednesday night in the Johannesburg suburb of Florida.

The 24-year-old Kaizer Chiefs star was waiting to be attended to when he was approached by unknown gunmen, who ordered him to get out of the vehicle.

One of the suspects is reported to have fled the scene with Fleurs' car after the shooting.

"The suspects pointed [at] him with a firearm and took him out of his vehicle, then shot him once on the upper body," Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo told local media.

Kaizer Chiefs, one of the most popular clubs in the country and 12-time league champions, described his death as "tragic".

The club said police were handling the matter and further details would be communicated in due course.

Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa said he was "saddened that yet another life has been cut short due to violent crime".

Defender Fleurs joined Kaizer Chiefs last year, having previously played for SuperSport United.

The former Under-23 international represented South Africa at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

He had not yet played for the senior national team but was reported to be nearing his debut.

On their website, Kaizer Chiefs describe Fleurs as a "classy defender" with "great technical abilities".

He began his career in 2013 in the Ubuntu Cape Town Academy, according to local media.

The Premier Soccer League said a moment of silence will be observed at all top-flight and second-tier games this weekend in memory of Fleurs.

"We woke up to the heart-breaking and devastating news of the passing of this young life," South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan said in a statement.

"This is such a huge loss for his family, friends, his teammates and football in general."

Football fans have taken to social media to mourn him.

"The football family has lost a bright flame," soccer presenter Carol Tshabalala posted on social media platform X.

South Africa is grappling with increasing gun violence, with several mass shootings reported in recent years. The country has one of the world's highest murder rates, according to police data.

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