Global“Shooting, shooting, shooting, it has to stop”: the moving testimony of the...

“Shooting, shooting, shooting, it has to stop”: the moving testimony of the aunt of Gaël, killed last night in a shooting in Laeken

One dead and one seriously injured after gunshots in Brussels, according to the prosecution

This Sunday morning, the family came to the site to pray. Tears, screams, a candle and a few flowers. “This has to stop. It has to stop with the knives, the weapons…”cries Lucie, the aunt of the deceased.

Mixed with immeasurable sadness, anger explodes in the face of urban violence. “Shooting, shooting, shooting. It started in Forest, and now here in Laeken. I don’t understand. Gaël left, like that…” After a few minutes of contemplation, the loved ones leave Steyls Street. A street which, after a parade of police cars and a crowd of officers, regained a disconcerting tranquility in a few hours.

“A quiet neighborhood”

But in the neighborhood, there is shock among the residents. “This is the first time such a tragedy has happened here. It’s a quiet neighborhood though”, explains Anetta. His house is right across the street from the exact location where the tragedy took place. “I saw the body, with a sheet on it.” On this Sunday morning, her two children are waiting for the tram to go to church. “I don’t talk to them about it. We must protect them.”

Fourth shooting in three days in Brussels: exchange of fire on Boulevard du Midi during the night, no injuries

Othmane has lived in the neighborhood for 22 years. Shocked, he is this morning. Surprised, unfortunately not, he tells us. “My neighbor had a bullet through a window once.” Awake at the time of the tragedy, he saw the commotion of the police cars. “It’s all sad.”

“He has already been stabbed”

This Laeken shooting seems to be part of the series of tragedies of recent months. Against the backdrop of drug trafficking. Gunshots at Peterbos, at Jacques Franck square, in Forest, in Saint-Josse… 2024 opened in Brussels with a surge of violence.

Without mentioning the drug scene, a member of the deceased Gaël’s family explains to us that the young man had problems. “He’s already been stabbed.” It would be in this environment “of friends” that the tragedy would have taken place. A settling of scores, supposes this bereaved relative, his eyes red from crying.

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