Trapped hijacker shoots himself

2008-01-27 00:00

TRAPPED inside a stolen vehicle, a hijacker allegedly turned his gun on himself yesterday.

He was one of three men who hijacked a vehicle and killed the owner in the Newcastle area. It is believed that the hijacker shot himself after realising the police were closing in on him.

Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela said three men entered the Mittal Steel (formerly Iscor) plant in Newcastle, killed a man and stole the keys to his Nissan Navara.

"Security guards at the gate were suspicious of the men and immediately called the police."

Magudulela said the vehicle was fitted with a tracking device.

Tracker communications manager Gareth Crocker said the police contacted the company, which helped them tail the vehicle.

"Realising he was being tracked, the driver of the vehicle tried to run police off the road before speeding down a sand track in Emondlo."

According to Magudulela, the police intercepted the vehicle and tried to stop it but the driver did not stop. "Police followed in pursuit and moments later the vehicle lost control and rolled down a steep embankment."

The police heard a gunshot before they reached the vehicle. "As the police approached the overturned car, the driver of the vehicle is alleged to have shot himself in the head," said Crocker.

Three women who were found in the vehicle claimed that the man offered them a lift shortly before the chase began.

The police are investigating a case of murder and robbery.

Croker applauded the police for their quick response in the incident.

"We would like to pay tribute to the police for both their quick investigative work and for their courage during the [pursuit]," said Crocker. The two remaining suspects are still at large.

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