THREE police officers were shot and killed and two of them had their service firearms stolen by their attackers yesterday.
Two policemen, a sergeant and a constable who were stationed at Nyanga police station, were killed in cold blood as they sat in their vehicle at 1.30pm. They had kept watch on a vehicle abandoned near the police station. The vehicle, a silver grey Isuzu bakkie had allegedly been hijacked on Sunday.
“Both of them were shot in the head and their firearms were taken. They both died on the scene,” police provincial commissioner Arno Lamoer told a media briefing at the scene.
“Our officers responded to a call of a possibly stolen or hijacked vehicle. When they arrived on the scene, they spoke with some of the people around here. They tested the vehicle and they found out that the car was hijacked yesterday (Sunday),” Lamoer said.
He said the policemen were waiting for a tow truck when they were shot.
“The person who phoned the police was in his house and said he heard about four or five gunshots and when he looked out he said he saw the two police officers slumped inside the police vehicle.
“We are not sure how many gunmen were involved, but we are following up a possible lead we have,” said Lamoer.
Hours earlier an off-duty officer was shot and killed in Mfuleni in a suspected robbery
“We not sure if the firearm was taken. We are investigating that incident,” Lamoer said.
The increasing number of police officers killed were no longer a concern, but rather a
disaster, he said
“I don’t think we can talk about a concern. This is a disaster. It is really for us as police a sad day. These officers were servants of this community and were killed by people from the community, (it) is totally unacceptable. This is clearly an attack on police officers in the province and (an) attack on our democracy, that police can be just killed in cold blood,” said Lamoer.
“The message to the perpetrators is very clear – if you attack you will be served with justice. We want to ask ... whoever knows anything regarding this incident to come forward and we will give up to R100 000 for information,” Lamoer said.
The officers’ identities were withheld until their families were notified, he said
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said:
“These attacks must not go unpunished and I am calling on the communities to assist the police in apprehending the killers.”
Anyone with information can call Crime Stop at 08600 10111 or sms Crime Line 32211.