Shootout leaves three dead

2018-09-26 06:00
PHOTOs: suppliedThe BMW that the suspects were travelling in.

PHOTOs: suppliedThe BMW that the suspects were travelling in.

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THREE suspects were shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire between alleged armed robbers and SAPS along the N2 between the Mandeni toll plaza and the Tugela River in Mandeni on Monday afternoon.

IPSS Medical Rescue paramedics who were on scene said a fourth suspect, who was wounded in the shoot-out, is in a serious condition.

According to the KwaDukuza SAPS, the shootout happened following a high speed chase with the SAPS National Intervention Unit pursuing the suspects from Durban on a intelligence driven operation.

When police attempted to pull the vehicle over, the occupants allegedly opened fire.

It is believed that the suspects were involved in cash-in-transit heists and were being chased by officers in an unmarked vehicle.

KZN SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said: “Police spotted the BMW vehicle with three occupants along the N2 near Mandeni.

“When police attempted to stop the said vehicle, the occupants allegedly fired shots at the police officers.”

In a statement, SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the vehicle was searched and three unlicensed firearms as well as ammunition were recovered.

“The suspects were also found in possession of R100 000 in cash.

“According to detectives the suspects were wanted for a number of armed robberies in the province. It is believed that they were also part of a group who shot and injured a police officer during an attempted cash-in-transit robbery that was foiled by police in Empangeni last month,” Naicker said.

No police officers were injured during the shootout and the investigation is ongoing. Acting Provincial Commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi commended police in the province for their proactive approach in dealing with the scourge of armed robberies, saying: “We wish to caution criminals not to declare war on police as they will be on the losing end. “They should not test our capabilities when they are caught with guns in their hands.

“If they are confronted by police, we are advising them to put down their guns and surrender peacefully,” he said in a statement.

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