Durban - Five suspected armed robbers were shot and killed during a dramatic exchange of fire with police near Tabankulu in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday. One officer was shot in the chest during the firefight, but was saved by his bulletproof vest. In a statement, Eastern Cape police said that, late in the afternoon, officers had been tipped off about an armed robbery at a grocery store. "Police followed up on information received indicating that five heavily armed men intended to rob at a local grocery store in Tabankulu.""Police members spotted the vehicle with five occupants on the way to Tabankulu. When the suspects noticed that they were being followed, they started shooting at the police members, who returned fire."Police are now investigating whether or not the gang could have had a hand in armed robberies in Mthatha and Port St Johns. Officers recovered three rifles and four handguns, as well as more than 1 000 rounds of ammunition.