Johannesburg - A Nigel Community Policing Forum (CPF) volunteer was killed and a police officer wounded in a hail of bullets following a business robbery on Saturday night, police said on Sunday.
Spokesperson Kay Makhubele said five men had just robbed people at the business of cellphones and money and were making their getaway when they were spotted by the CPF member who was on patrol in the area near the Shoprite centre.
The CPF patroller called the police and followed the group.
CPF patrolling head Alwyn Van den Heever told News24 that when the gang saw fellow CPF volunteer Johnny Grobler, a chase ensued.
A shot rang out and other CPF volunteers responded to help police.
Van den Heever was around the corner at work, and dropped everything to go and help.
He heard over the radio that the robbers had run towards a run down mall, with lots of dark corners and joined the first responder policeman and Grobler at the mall.
It was very quiet, he said, and they walked cautiously with Grobler shining his torch into the dark spots.
''The police officer shouted, 'the guy's got a gun'. ''Drop your gun! Drop your gun!'' recalled Van den Heever.
''And then just all hell broke loose. They emptied their magazine.''
Grobler fell down, and said he had been shot, but that he was fine, while bullets flew around them.
Van den Heever took cover behind a tree trunk and said he was not able to move from his spot.
Another CPF member Frans Claasen managed to get his vehicle between the perpetrators and Grobler and pulled him into the vehicle and rushed him to hospital.
''But he died when he got to hospital,'' said Van den Heever.
Makhubele said that when the shooting stopped, they discovered that the policeman had also been shot.
He was also taken to hospital, and is in a stable condition.
One of the perpetrators was found dead, with a firearm next to him, and another was arrested, but the three others managed to slip away.
The man who was arrested faces a case of murder, attempted murder, business robbery.
Van den Heever said the shooting had shocked the community, and visitors arrived in convoy at Grobler's grieving widow Johanna's house to offer their condolences on Sunday. They also held a wreath laying ceremony for him, in memory of the time he had given to the community.
Grobler also left two children.
Gauteng Commissioner Lt-Gen Deliwe de Lange said she was saddened to hear of the death of the CPF volunteer, said Makhubele.