DAMIAN SCHUTTE, 21,
KILLED ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 2011
ON Wednesday, Hilda Schutte, 48, was one of the Helenvale community members who took part in an event at the suburb’s newly-built resource centre to commemorate victims of gang violence.
At the event Hilda lovingly attached a picture of her late son, Damian, 21, to a poster placed on a wall.
“My son was killed by gangsters in 2011 and his killers are still free and out in the streets. No witnesses have come forward to identify the people who killed him. Everyone is too scared. But I have left it in the hands of God because there is nothing left that I can do,” she said.
Damian, a construction worker who assisted in the building of the new Gelvandale court, was hardworking and reliable.
“No one could point a finger at him. He was such a good person and everyone was so shocked when he died because he was not even a gangster. He was a quiet and shy person and he was an example for other young men in this area,” Schutte said.
She said Damian, the youngest of her three sons, was with a friend house-sitting in Extension 6 of Helenvale on the night he was killed.
Damian’s brother, Juanaid, 26, said: “It was his friend’s brother’s house. There were a few people in the house at the time. Apparently there were people who kept coming to the house earlier that day to bother them. They wanted to sell them a phone but the people in the house were not interested. But these guys kept coming back.”
He said suddenly that evening a man appeared at the front door and started firing shots into the house. He said Damian was shot in the left arm, the right leg, his left side and his stomach.
“The guys then ran away from the scene. Damian was the only one in the house who was shot. We heard that the people who shot him belong to the Dustlifes gang,” Juanaid said.
Hilda said the pain of losing Damian became easier to manage with time, but never went away completely. “I am grateful for the time we had him with us. I feel proud that no one could ever point a finger at him and say that he was a bad person or accuse him of anything.”
She said parents who protected their children involved in gangsterism were a large part of the problem in Helenvale.
“Everything starts at home. Parents must be an example for their children and if parents know their children are involved they need to call the police.
“They need to sit their children down and explain that what they are doing is wrong and if they do not stop they will be turned in.”