Police shoot 2 men in church robbery

2010-09-27 08:53

Police shot dead two men when they tried to rob a church in Pinetown.

Police received a tip-off yesterday of a robbery planned at the Roman Catholic church, said Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge.

Officers were sent to the church.

“The police noticed three suspects walking into the church grounds during the service. A fourth suspect drove the getaway car on to the premises,” Mdunge said.

“When church ended at 6pm and the congregation started to leave, the suspects followed the priest, who had the collection money, to his office. They thought there was R60 000 in the collection basket.”

The alleged robbers held the priest at gunpoint.

The police confronted them, but they refused to co-operate, Mdunge said.

The men shot at the police and the police fired back “with no hesitation”.

“Two of the suspects were fatally wounded and a third suspect had dog bites on his hand and wrist from police dogs. The fourth suspect fled the scene. Police are still looking for him,” Mdunge said.

Two firearms, a 9mm pistol and a .3 revolver pistol, were recovered.

A case of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances had been opened.

An inquest docket had also been opened for the two men who were killed by the police, Mdunge said.

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