Hawks arrest trio in shooting of off-duty Constable

2019-03-21 21:47
Danger on the road. Blue flasher on the police car at night.

Danger on the road. Blue flasher on the police car at night.

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Three men have been arrested following the fatal shooting of a Kranskop police constable and an innocent bystander, the Hawks said on Thursday.

The trio, aged between 20 and 32, allegedly played a role in the killing of off-duty Constable Thandoluhle Mhlongo and bystander Mazwi Zuke last Friday.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said preliminary investigations suggest that Mhlongo, who is stationed at Kranskop police station, had been at a local shisanyama premises when the shooting took place.

"He reportedly went out of the premises to investigate loud noises of a vehicle that had been repeatedly driving recklessly on the street. As soon as he walked out, he was fired upon by the occupants of the suspicious vehicle."

Mulaudzi said he managed to pull out his service pistol, but two suspects alighted from their vehicle and continued firing at him.

Another off-duty Kranskop police officer, who was in the vicinity, responded to the sounds of gunfire and two of the suspects were shot and wounded during the exchange, he added.

"Their accomplices managed to drag them into the car, and they fled the scene, leaving behind a discarded weapon on the ground after they managed to drag two of their wounded accomplices into the getaway vehicle," said Mulaudzi,

Both Mhlongo and Zuke succumbed to gunshots wounds on the scene whilst those who were also caught in the scuffle were treated at the nearby hospital.

Mulaudzi said the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime unit immediately took over the investigations and launched an intensive manhunt which culminated in the arrest of the two suspects in Durban and Pietermaritzburg respectively.

He said an abandoned charred Mercedes Benz which was used in the commission of the crime was found near Seven Oak in Greytown.

Further investigations led authorities to one of the suspects in the Pietermaritzburg Central Business District.

"The determined team then caught up with him following a short pursuit. A second suspect was apprehended in Durban and the third was traced to Newlands where an unlicensed firearm was retrieved after he attempted to flush it down the toilet."

The suspects will appear in the Kranskop Magistrate’s Court on Friday and will be charged with murder, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearm.

Read more on:    crime
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