Police hunt for couple after cop death

2011-01-15 10:06

Police were still searching for a French couple that shot dead a police officer and injured another in Sutherland, an official said today.

The two fled after allegedly shooting at police during a raid at their farmhouse in Sutherland yesterday, Lieutenant-Colonel Hendrik Swart said.

He said police were first called in by a farm owner who was trying unsuccessfully to evict his tenant.

“He has two houses on his farm. One had been occupied by a Frenchman and his wife for over 10 years, and the other by him and his family,” Swart said.

“The farm owner had become the Frenchman’s friend through the years, so he was not paying. He had recently asked him to move out because he wanted to repair the house for his sons. The man was apparently arrogant and refused to do so.”

Swart said the owner asked the police for assistance and also informed them that he was afraid because his tenant had illegal firearms in the house.

“Four policemen prepared a search warrant and went to the house around 2pm. They collected several firearms. While they were leaving the Frenchman came out of the house and fired shots at them.

“A student constable died on the scene and a warrant officer was taken to a Cape Town Hospital in a serious condition.

“The man and wife allegedly fired several shots at the two remaining officers, the owner and his two sons.”

Swart said the man chased the five with the farmer’s bakkie into a nearby veld, allegedly firing shots with a hunting rifle. He also allegedly shot all the tyres of a police vehicle.

“The five were luckily not hurt and managed to get to a nearby gravel road where they got helped.”

The Toyota Hilux bakkie was later found by the police abandoned nearby in the veld.

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