North Coast gun battle

2016-03-03 06:00
Photo: supplied The car sprayed with bullets.

Photo: supplied The car sprayed with bullets.

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A SUSPECT was shot in the face and three men were arrested after a shoot-out in Verulam last Thursday.

Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa­) officers came face to face with a “most-wanted” suspect and his accomplices during an armed robbery-in-progress at a house in Everest Heights in Verulam.

Over 50 rounds of ammunition were fired during the gun battle between­ the armed suspects and reaction officers leaving the suspect’s getaway vehicle riddled with bullet holes and a notorious criminal with a bullet in his face and chest.

Head of Rusa Prem Balram said the armed face-off was all in a day’s work in a bid to keep the community safe and criminals off the street.

Balram came under heavy fire during the shoot-out and managed to strike one of the province’s most wanted criminals in the face and chest.

“The priority was ensuring that the occupants of the house that was being robbed were safe and unharmed. Being able to nab three suspects in the process was an added bonus,” said Balram.

The drama unfolded when the Rusa operations centre received a call from a Tongaat businessman reporting an armed robbery in progress at his home.

The businessman stated that his 17-year-old daughter had phoned him and requested assistance stating that five armed suspects had gained entry into their home and were holding her 65-year-old grandmother, the domestic worker and her hostage.

The daughter made the call to her father minutes before the suspects found her hiding in the bedroom. The call saved the lives of her ailing grandmother and the domestic worker.

“All available reaction officers were dispatched to the home and upon arrival, jumped over the boundary wall and kept observation over the property. A female from inside the home indicated through the bedroom window that the suspects were still on the property.

“I advanced to the side of the house when one suspect opened rapid fire on me. I returned fire when a second suspect appeared from around the corner and also fired at me. The suspects used their getaway vehicle­, a Chev Cruze, as cover and continued firing at Rusa officers, who returned fire hitting the vehicle at least 35 times,” Balram said.

The suspects fled the property over the back wall. One suspect was found hiding on an adjacent property. He sustained two gunshot wounds, one to his face and a second to his chest.The SAPS K9 Unit tracked and arrested two other suspects who were hiding in a bush on Shari Drive. One of the suspects was found in possession of a remote which was used to open the driveway gates to the home that was robbed. The fourth suspect managed to evade arrest and escaped with a handbag containing R20 000 in cash.

The suspect’s Chev Cruze was abandoned on scene. A registration check confirmed that it was hijacked from Newlands in February.

A plasma TV, DVR recording device, bolt cutters and a large hammer were found in the vehicle. The suspect attempted to rape the hijack victim while she was taken from her car. The arrested suspects have been identified by the victim.

Police spokesman, Maj Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident.

“A case of house robbery was opened at Verulam police station for investigation.

The injured suspect was taken to hospital in a stable condition under police guard. They will all appear in court soon.”

The shot suspect is wanted for hijacking and house robbery in the Ntuzuma area, among several other serious crimes.

- Supplied.

Shot suspect is wanted for hijacking and house
robbery in the Ntuzuma area, among several

serious crimes

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