Scottsville shootout

2019-03-08 14:45


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Two men believed to be part of a gang targeting students in the Scottsville area were shot dead while a third man was wounded and a fourth managed to flee.

This happened during a dramatic exchange of gunfire between the gang members and police in Glenwood on Wednesday night, following the robbery of a female student on Carbis Road.

The Witness has reported before that many students have been mugged and robbed as they walk to and from campus at UKZN in Pietermaritzburg.

As a result, security guards had started escorting students home at night, but this led to robbers ambushing students after the guards had left them.

When a civilian witnessed the robbery of the female student at gunpoint at around 8.30 pm he called police and gave chase, undeterred by the shots the gang fired at his car.

A description of the Mazda was circulated to all units.

Members of the K9 Unit spotted the robbers’ car and went in pursuit.

Captain Gay Ebrahim, Mountain Rise police spokesperson, said during the pursuit the suspects shot at the police several times while driving towards Glenwood and Sobantu, and police returned fire.

The chase ended when the police vehicle crashed into the back of the Mazda, but the shooting continued. Two of the alleged gang members were killed and a third man was injured and admitted to hospital under police guard.

Police recovered everything that was stolen from the robbed student, including a handbag, a laptop and a cell phone.

A pistol was also found on scene.

Ebrahim said later investigations revealed that the firearm had been reported stolen at the Johannesburg Central police station.

The gang had been robbing students over a period of time using the Mazda they were caught in last night.

“Every time there’s a student robbery, it’s that red [Mazda] Laser that’s being used,” said a source.

He said a “very brave civilian” witnessed the robbery on Wednesday night and gave chase in his own car.

He followed the car some 12 km down Woodhouse Road, to Sobantu, through Madiba Camp and into Glenwood.

“He managed to call for help while he was under fire all the way. The police picked up the chase in Glenwood.”

They too came under fire from the occupants in the car. But the Laser stopped suddenly, and the police car crashed into it from behind.

“The robbers were still shooting, and police returned fire,” said the source.

Speaking to The Witness on Thursday, the student who was robbed, who asked remain unnamed, said the assailants accosted her while she was walking to the library at the College of Agriculture on Ridge Road.

“I was walking to the library when I noticed two guys walking behind me.

“I thought they were also students because they didn’t look shabby or anything and so I carried on walking,” said the final year Genetics and Microbiology student.

A few seconds later, she said that the two men ran towards her and demanded her handbag.

At first, the student said she protested but one of the men started strangling her. “When he started strangling me I threw my bag on the floor and the other guy took it.

“The strangler continued searching me and demanded that I give him my phone. I told him it was in the bag and he shoved me to the ground.”

The two men snatched the bag and fled the scene in a Mazda, the student said. “It was very frightening. I was crying. I thought they were going to hurt me,” she said.

Two police officers attached to the K9 Unit, who were injured when their vehicle crashed into the suspects’ car, were also taken to hospital, where they were later discharged.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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