Durban – Two suspects were shot dead during a shootout with police following a business robbery at Roseneath area in Umkomaas on Tuesday evening, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Wednesday.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said three armed men had robbed a 22-year-old businessman of cash, airtime and a cellphone before fleeing the crime scene in a silver VW Polo.
Umkomaas police reacted swiftly and spotted the vehicle, he said.
"When the suspects noticed the police were chasing them they opened fire. A chase ensued and the VW Polo came to a standstill on the N2 near the Umkomaas River Bridge," Zwane said.
The suspects alighted and started running whilst still firing at police.
"The members returned fire, fatally wounding two suspects. The third suspect managed to flee the crime scene on foot," said Zwane.
Chris Botha, Netcare 911 spokesperson, said when paramedics arrived at the scene they found a man in the back seat of a car that had sustained a fatal gunshot wound and had died before their arrival.
Another man was found lying in the veld about 500 metres from the car with life threatening injuries.
"Paramedics worked fervently for some time to try to stabilise the man. Tragically, despite all their effort he was declared dead at the scene," Botha said.
Zwane added that the stolen items and two firearms were recovered.
Charges of armed robbery and an inquest docket were opened at Umkomaas police station for investigation, said Zwane.