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Kaizer Chiefs soccer player Luke Fleurs killed in carjacking in Johannesburg

By Sammy Mncwabe, CNN

(CNN) — South Africa and Kaizer Chiefs soccer player Luke Fleurs has been killed in a carjacking incident in Johannesburg, the club announced in a statement on Thursday.

“We are profoundly shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic and untimely passing of one of our players, Luke Fleurs,” Chiefs said.

“We convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time,” the Premier Soccer League (PSL) club added.

According to South African police, the incident took place at a fuel station in Honeydew, a northern suburb of Johannesburg, on Wednesday evening.

“The suspects pointed 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 said in a statement.

After the shooting, one suspect drove off in Fleurs’ car followed by an accomplice.

The 24-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, police added.

Fleurs was a promising youth athlete who represented South Africa at Under-23 level and was part of the Tokyo Summer Olympics team in 2021.

He had yet to make his Chiefs debut after joining the Soweto giant as a free agent on a two-year deal in October, following his time at SuperSport United.

“The Matsatsantsa family would like to send its heartfelt condolences to the Fleurs family, everyone at Kaizer Chiefs Football Club and the football community at large. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” SuperSport said in a statement.

South Africa’s minister of sports and culture, Zizi Kodwa, released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, paying tribute to Fleurs and lamenting violent crime in the country.

“I am saddened that yet another life has been cut short due to violent crime. My thoughts are with the Fleurs and Amakhosi family, and the entire South African football fraternity,” Kodwa added.

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Tommy Mthombeni has appointed a team of detectives to investigate Fleurs’ murder and hijacking, police said. No arrests have been made yet.

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