Durban - A police officer and three others have been killed during a cash-in-transit robbery in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Tuesday.
Security company staff were delivering cash at an ATM when they were held up by five armed men on Monday, said spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker.
“A security official, Izak Phungula, was shot dead when the suspects opened fire on him.
“Unfortunately for the suspects, the money was destroyed when the dye pack exploded and coated the cash with ink,” Naicker said.
The men abandoned the cash, took the deceased security officer's firearm and fled in a blue Toyota RunX.
“The suspects fired several shots whilst fleeing and two bystanders were injured as a result of them shooting randomly. Richmond police heard the gunshots and started to pursue the suspects,” Naicker said.
Police later spotted the men exchanging vehicles at a quarry outside the town.
Naicker said the men opened fire on the police and a shootout ensued.
“Sergeant Thami Zondi was shot dead in the head whilst his colleague was shot in the chest. One of the suspects also died on the scene. The remaining suspects fled in a Toyota Hilux LDV.”
The wounded police officer was taken to hospital.
When the fleeing suspects came across a police roadblock, they abandoned the Toyota and fled on foot.
“The suspects opened fire on police and there was an exchange of gunfire. They were eventually arrested in the bush and had sustained gunshot wounds. One of them died as a result of his injuries,” said Naicker.
An AK-47 rifle and a 9mm pistol were recovered from the men.
The remaining three suspects were under police guard in hospital, said Naicker.