Probe into Witkoppen shooting

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IOL witkoppen Shoot out7 THE STAR This Honda Jazz was involved in a high-speed chase from Randburg to Douglasdale. The driver apparently lost control and swerved into a palisade fence on Witkoppen Road after being shot. Photo: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has been brought in to probe a shooting on Witkoppen Road on Thursday morning that left a man injured.

In the early hours, police had been chasing a “suspicious vehicle” through Douglasdale, resulting in a shooting that had a Honda Jazz swerve off the road and crash into a palisade fence.

While initially told by police the driver had fired at the police car, leading to the “shoot-out”, national police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said no firearms were found in the vehicle.

This begs the question of whether police fired at the car - which was riddled with bullet holes - driven by an unarmed driver.

According to Dlamini’s statement, police observed the “suspicious vehicle” in Randburg and as they tried to stop the vehicle, it sped off.

After the shooting, the driver was wounded and rushed to a nearby hospital. His passenger was taken into custody on charges of attempted murder.

“On further investigation it was established that the vehicle had not been stolen and belongs to a vehicle dealership company.

“Police members were not injured. No firearm was found in the vehicle,” Dlamini said.

The Honda Jazz had crashed into and twisted the green palisade fence that surrounded a nearby empty lot on Witkoppen Road, with blood dripping from the passenger’s seat.

The destroyed back window lay next to the abandoned vehicle, with the front windscreen smashed but still intact.

What attracted the most attention from passers-by was the large dried pool of blood on the passenger’s side of the car, and the more than a dozen holes on its back and left side.

The bullets appeared to be smaller than 9mm rounds, indicating that officers must have used their standard issue R5 rifles, according to a specialist on the scene, who declined to be named.

“Circumstances leading to the shooting are being investigated. Ipid were also called to the scene,” Dlamini said.

Thursday’s incident was the second on Witkoppen Road to make headlines this week.

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