The South African Police Service (SAPS) have been commended for squaring up against a heavily armed gang in Westville, KwaZulu-Natal following a robbery on Thursday morning. One suspect was fatally shot in the shootout. Videos of the incident went viral in SA, with one incredibly brave policeman seen firing shots which are clearly audible in the footage.
SAPS said in a statement that the group of armed men allegedly accosted the employees of a business premise in Westville at around 08h00. (Witnesses say it was the post office in Westville Village Market mall.)
Whilst pointing guns at the staff, the suspects stole an undisclosed amount of cash.
Witnesses say security guards from the other side of the mall responded to the noise and shots were exchanged in the mall. The robbers then fled outside where the video starts.
SAPS said: “As they were attempting to flee the scene they were confronted by police and a shootout ensued. A 35-year-old suspect was fatally wounded during the shootout as others managed to flee the scene. A pistol with 48 rounds of ammunition was recovered from the deceased suspect.”
The vehicle used by the suspects was later found burnt at Clermont.
SAPS said investigations reveal that the vehicle used was hijacked in July this year in Malvern.
Charges of robbery; attempted murder; illegal possession of a firearm as well as ammunition and an inquest were opened at the Westville police station for investigation.
“I am pleased that our police officers remained unscathed after coming under attack following their swift response. We are challenging criminals to test our rapid response capacity this Festive Season. We remain undeterred by such attempts by criminals to intimidate us,” said the KZN Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula.
WATCH Police shootout with robbers in Westville, South Africa
Please Note: This video contains graphic visuals.