File picture: Skyler Reid/Independent Media

Johannesburg – An alleged criminal has been killed and a 27-year-old police constable is recovering in hospital after being gunned down during a crime prevention operation at the Booysens informal settlement on Tuesday night.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, the incident happened at about 11pm on the corner of Eloff and Smallen streets during a shootout where an alleged criminal was fatally shot and a firearm was seized.

"While police were conducting a crime prevention operation, they received information about a suspect who was involved in serious and violent crimes and that he was in possession of a firearm at the informal settlement.

"On arrival at one of the shacks, several shots were fired at the police and they returned fire. During a shootout, the suspect was fatally shot," Dlamini said.

He said that the police officer was wounded in the upper body and he was immediately taken to the hospital.

"Cases of of inquest and attempted murder are being investigated. The identity of the suspect is still unknown," Dlamini said.

He emphasised that police were urging members of the community to continue in isolating criminals as some of the shacks in the informal settlement are used as criminal hideouts and by those who continue to terrorise the communities.

Any information on criminal activities may be forwarded to Crime Stop at 08600 10111 at all hours.

"Information on crime may be rewarded," Dlamini added.

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The Star