SHOCKED: Graham van Neel (Keaton Johnson’s dad), Carmen Johnson (mom) and Sylvia Johnson. Photo: Jack Lestrade/Daily Voice
A grieving mother had to identify the body of her innocent son who was gunned down by gangsters on her 50th birthday.

Two young people were killed and two more wounded on Sunday afternoon in Bishop Lavis.

Police say the youngsters were sitting outside between two courts in Huilbert Street, Nooitgedacht, just after 3pm when three suspects in a blue VW Polo Vivo pulled up, jumped out of the car and opened fire.

According to witnesses, the shooters were targeting someone standing close to the group.

The gunmen opened fire, hitting the youngsters while their target ran away.

Matthew Pedro, 21, who lives in Olyfberg Road, was shot five times and died on the scene.

His girlfriend Caryn Koopman, 18, was shot twice, once in the face and once in the buttocks. She is currently in a stable condition in hospital.

MURDERED: Matthew Pedro

Sixteen-year-old Keaton Johnson died after being shot in the neck.

Another 21-year-old man, Lorenzo, was shot in the leg.

Keaton’s mother Carmen, 37, says when the shots rang out, she ran outside to her son.

She says Caryn was crawling away from where Keaton was lying, screaming for her mother.

“I saw my child and I could not believe it. He was innocent. He had his entire life ahead of him,” a hartseer Carmen said on Monday, tears running down her cheeks.

The boy’s dad, Graham van Neel said and he was proud of his son.

“When I saw him, I knew there was nothing that could be done for him. I just held his hand and told him it was OK. He squeezed my hand, but I just knew he would not make it,” the distraught father says.

Caryn’s mother Rene, 42, said her daughter had passed matric and had written her exam to join the police force at Philippi Police Academy just last week.

DEAD: Keaton Johnson, 16

“My child has always been a hard worker and a good student. She wants to be a police officer so she can rid our community of what is wrong here,” says Rene.

“We did not even tell her yet that her best friend and her boyfriend are dead.”

The Daily Voice caught Matthew’s mother Jane, as she returned from the morgue where she had identified his body.

The mom says it was a bitter way to celebrate her 50th birthday.

“My child was innocent. He had no part in gangsters,” she says. “He took care of his grandmother.”

Police spokeswoman Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana says the Anti-Gang Unit is investigating cases of murder and attempted murder.

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