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A police officer and two Community Police Forum (CPF) members were shot by a suspect with an automatic rifle during a search for unlicensed guns in a house in Randfontein on Friday.
This is the second police officer shot in a week after an off-duty policeman was shot dead in Rondebult, Alberton, when he reportedly tried to break up a fight.
On Friday, police and the CPF had been acting on a tip-off of unlicensed firearms, said police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale.
They came across a car that matched the description given to them and searched the vehicle. Both the driver and the passenger were arrested after an unlicensed 9mm pistol was discovered.
Police then went to an address in Robinpark where they believed more illegal firearms where kept.
The owner of the house, the father of one of the suspects arrested earlier, told the police and two CPF members that he had firearms in his house, but said they were licensed.
Once in the house, the man had allegedly opened fire on the officer and CPF members with an automatic rifle, said Mogale. This had resulted in a shoot-out and the police officer and the CPF members had been shot and wounded, but had taken cover in the house. The police car outside the house had been badly damaged by stray bullets, said Mogale.
The man was barricaded in a room while firing away. During a ceasefire, a woman walked out of the house and told them the suspect had shot himself.
Police confirmed this and searched the house, finding two automatic rifles and a semi-automatic pistol as well as numerous other firearms and ammunition, which were confiscated. Mogale said “some of the firearms” had been licensed, but could not confirm how many were legal.
Police had also discovered “propaganda material” , which Mogale assumed was of a right-wing nature.
The suspect died at the scene and the wounded are in a stable condition in hospital.
The two suspects are due to appear in the Randfontein Magistrate’s Court soon.