A notable South African prosecutor is dead following an alleged “freak” accidental shooting in a courtroom on Monday.
Addelaid Ann Ferreira Watt, 51, was killed after a loaded gun — that had been brought into the courtroom and introduced as evidence in a robbery case — unexpectedly discharged, fatally striking the 51-year-old lawyer in the hip, South African newspaper The Times reported.
She later died at the hospital, authorities said. The gun which supposedly killed Watt was a shotgun, according to News24, an online publication in South Africa.
“It is alleged that the weapon was brought to court to be entered as evidence in a house robbery case when it accidentally discharged in court,” Jay Naicker, a police spokesperson, told The Times.
South African police said they’re investigating the possibility that Watt's death was a homicide.
“Unfortunately, we cannot divulge further information as the investigations are at a sensitive stage,” Naicker added.
A chief prosecutor from Watt’s office also confirmed her death.
“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing on November 18 of senior state advocate Addelaid Ann Ferreira Watt of the office of the director of public prosecutions, Pietermaritzburg,” KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Elaine Zungu said, according to The Times. “Her untimely passing is mourned by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time. The family has requested that their privacy be respected.”
Watt is from Pretoria, South Africa, according to her Facebook page.
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