One of the police officers who was killed on the scene was on Wednesday identified as Duncan Vertue, a detective in the SAPS. The second, who died in hospital last night, has not been identified yet.
The drama, which played out at the Bultfontein Road/Long Street intersection in front of several motorists, who were also caught in the crossfire, was preceded by a domestic dispute minutes earlier at the police’s Provincial Head Office on the corner of Bultftontein Road and George Street.
The gun-battle broke out between a former policeman and members of the police’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit and members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) around 4.15pm.
According to police spokesperson, Colonel Mohale Ramatseba, the former policeman was shot and killed by the police after he got involved in a “domestic dispute” with his wife (also a police officer) at her place of work at the Provincial Office. He allegedly “assaulted and tried to kill” his wife.
“Police officers tried to intervene but the man got into his car (a Volkswagen) and drove off. He was followed by members of the FCS and TRT but at the intersection the suspect got out of his car and opened fire.
“The officers returned fire and the suspect was killed. One police officer (identified as Duncan Vertue) was killed at the scene during the incident while another two police officers were seriously injured,” Ramatseba said. One of the injured officers died in hospital last night.
When DFA reporters arrived at the scene the body of the shooter was seen lying in the street, with a gunshot wound to the head. Vertue was seen lying only a few metres away.
On the other side of the suspect’s vehicle, paramedics were seen attending to the other two officers who were shot and they were later lifted into ambulances and taken to hospital.
A massive crowd gathered at the scene with many in shock and disbelief at the “Hollywood-style” shootout in the streets of Kimberley.
“We don’t know what happened but we heard a lot of gunshots. It sounded as if an automatic weapon was involved,” many bystanders said. “This is something that happens in the movies, not in Kimberley,” one woman added.
The news also broke on social media with the DFA reporting live from the scene on its Facebook page.
Mbuyiselo Madyo commented: “Domestic violence has cost the life of a law enforcement officer on International Women’s Day, right in front of mama Frances Baard.”
Ramatseba on Wednesday said that police were still in the process of formulating charges.
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