'There are people in the mall with guns'

2015-09-01 14:42
The crime scene at Clearwater Mall. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

The crime scene at Clearwater Mall. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - A car washer at Clearwater Mall described a deadly shoot-out at the shopping centre on Tuesday as a scene from an action movie.

"It was like a movie, you know, those action movies where people shoot one another?" Mandla Khumalo told News24.

Two suspected robbers were killed.

"We were standing there in that area, it was past 09:00. We didn't see the robbery vehicle but while we were standing there, we saw a private security vehicle and they drove to where the robbers had parked and blocked them in.

"We just saw people getting out of that car and running in different directions. Then we lay on the ground. The police hadn't arrived yet... It was the private security that shot those people, they [security] had AK47s."

‘What can I do?’

He said he and other people got up off the ground after about five minutes and moved to the other side of the parking lot.

"We were watching as they were shooting because they were running in different directions," Khumalo said.

"Some of my female colleagues went home; one of them fainted. I'm also not okay, but what can I do? I have to work."

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said a group of men attacked a truck delivering Apple goods to a store in the mall.

"They confronted the courier and held them at gunpoint."

She said that as the group were offloading the goods into their own van, officers pounced and a shoot-out ensued.

Two dead

One suspected robber died at the scene while another died on the way to hospital. Two others were wounded, and another two were arrested.

Mogale said the goods were worth an estimated R1.2m.

Dominique Fourie who works at the FotoFirst store inside the mall told News24 about the commotion.

"At first we saw people running past the shop, and then we heard the gun shots - there were three of them. And then people started screaming: 'There's people in the mall with guns'," she said.

"We got down and got to the back of the store and stayed there. We took all the customers with us."

They waited at the back of the store for about 15 minutes before coming out.

"We heard that there were guys with guns and they robbed the iStore delivery van... we heard that police had apprehended a few and then shot a couple of other guys. That's when we knew how serious the situation was."

She said they left the shop open while hiding.

"We were like, leave the store open. Let's get the others to safety. If they are going to come in, they going to come in and let them have free rein [rather] than let anyone get hurt. "

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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