A group of Emergency Medical Service staff attend to suspected robber who was shot by an off-duty officer who walked in on and armed robbery on the East Rand on Wednesday.Picture: Timothy Bernard20.02.2012

Johannesburg - A man was shot and wounded by an off-duty police reservist while three of his suspected accomplices escaped on foot after a business robbery in Benoni.

The men had allegedly robbed a café in Aerodrome Drive, Northmead, when the officer saw them fleeing the shop.

As the men ran to their getaway vehicle, the cop jumped into his car and chased after the gang.

A shootout erupted as they drove through the Benoni CBD, ending on Snake and New Modder roads.

An eyewitness, who drove behind the two vehicles, said the suspects were driving recklessly and at a high speed on the pavement.

“They continued shooting at the policeman, who returned fire. One of the robbers was wounded and they lost control of the vehicle after their tyre became flat from the shooting.”

The man said the suspects had driven past two sets of traffic lights when Ekurhuleni metro police noticed the chase and joined in.

“They (the robbers) abandoned their car on the side of the road. Some ran away, and the wounded man walked out of the car and tried walking towards the police.”

“He had no choice. He couldn’t run like the rest.”

The suspect was taken by an ambulance to a local hospital, where he’s under police guard.

According to police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale, the robbers held the owner of a café at gunpoint and demanded money and cigarettes.

“They then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash from the till,” she said.

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesman Vusi Maphanga confirmed that metro police department members had responded to the incident.

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The Star