South Africa

Centurion shoot-out suspects were 'hijackers', say police

Centurion shoot-out suspects were 'hijackers', say police

Two men fatally shot by police in Centurion, Pretoria, on Thursday were allegedly implicated in a spate of hijackings in Gauteng.

Police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said two suspects who survived would be charged with attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, and possession of a hijacked vehicle. More charges may be added pending further investigation.

Netcare, along with other emergency services, responded to a shooting on Jakaranda Street at about 9am in Centurion. There was a shoot-out between the suspects and police.

Two policemen were shot. One sustained critical injuries after being shot in the face. The other sustained serious injuries after being shot in the lower limb.

Both patients were treated on the scene. Once stabilised, they were airlifted to hospital.

The two injured suspects were transported by ambulance to hospital, said Shawn Herbst, Netcare 911 spokesperson.

“Members of Gauteng specific crime trio team had been following and keeping close observation on the suspects when they spotted [them] in Centurion driving a black BMW 135i. Police intercepted the suspects' vehicle and the suspects allegedly started firing shots at the police who then returned fire.  

“Police seized two rifles and a pistol, as well as the suspects' vehicle, which has since been confirmed as having been hijacked in Honeydew, Johannesburg, in July,” said Peters.

Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela commended the investigating team for working hard to decrease hijackings. He warned criminals that the space they operated in would be squeezed to the minimum.

TimesLIVE