Tavern patron grabs cop’s gun, shoots two

2011-05-30 00:00

A PATRON at a tavern in France township, near Imbali, disarmed a police officer and then used the weapon to shoot two men, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

The provincial spokesperson for the South African Police Force, Thulani Zwane, said police received a report that in the early hours of yesterday morning two men were killed with a firearm belonging to a police officer.

He said the police officer involved, a detective from the Pietermaritzburg detective unit, was not responsible for the shooting. He said the detective visited the tavern and was disarmed by one of the patrons. The patron then proceeded to shoot the two men.

Zwane said the patron was arrested and will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court today.

He faces charges of murder and attempted murder.

He said the officer has been charged with failing to safeguard his weapon in a tavern.

“At this stage it is not clear whether the police officer involved has been arrested.

“However, he has been charged with failing to safeguard his weapon,” said Zwane.

Zwane said the police will also be investigating the cause of the shooting, whether it was a result of any previous argument between the three men.

He said the police are also investigating the circumstances under which the police officer was disarmed.

“What we do know is that the police officer was in a drinking place and we do not know whether he was under the influence of alcohol or not. The police are investigating the circumstances under which he was disarmed,” said Zwane.

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