Johannesburg - As a gun battle raged outside MultiChoice offices in Randburg on Tuesday, a parent who worked for the company was only consumed with the safety of her child.
With loud screams and random shots going off, the mother said she wasn’t concerned for her own safety but her child’s, and was ready to storm the Montessori School where the children were.
“This happened right outside the school. I was on my way there but they advised against it. People were saying a lot of things and I was not paying attention. I just wanted to get to my child,” said the mother.
Feeling helpless, she could only watch as security guards and the perpetrators exchanged gunshots.
The mom said the suspects were after a cash-in-transit vehicle that was collecting money from MultiChoice. A shootout ensued with the security guards, and one suspect was shot dead.
She said the entire ordeal left them traumatised and emotional. “They had rifles and were just shooting everywhere. We are not injured, the kids are just traumatised. I have never cried so much in my life.
“The entire school dispersed and parents were told to fetch their kids. It was a mess,” she said.
Another source described the shootout like something out of an action movie. She told how a suspect collapsed while trying to get into a car after being shot. “It was very scary after the shooting, the man tried to run and get into the car but couldn’t and fell to the ground. There was blood all over the car. It was crazy out there.”
The incident, captured on video, showed a man firing a rifle while hiding behind a white double-cab bakkie. He tried to flee and get into a white Ford but failed to do so and collapsed.
Graphic video of a criminal suspect shot and wounded. One criminal died in the Cash in Transit heist. pic.twitter.com/JeMaMm4yB3
Netcare911 spokesperson Tebogo Magoro said paramedics responded to the scene on Kent Avenue and Grove Street to find a heavy police contingency and one dead person.
“On arrival, they found law enforcement surrounding the area and a helicopter overhead searching for suspects. Reports from the scene indicate that this was an attempted cash-in-transit heist.
“Shots were fired between the two parties leaving one suspect in his 30s with fatal injuries,” said Magoro.
The suspects apparently abandoned two of the vehicles they were in near the scene and hijacked a car to get away. The injured suspect left behind in the white Ford Focus died from a gunshot wound to the head.
“The driver of the hijacked vehicle was female and thankfully not injured,” said Magoro.
Police said the suspects made off with an undisclosed amount of money. Spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo added that the police have launched a manhunt for more than seven heavily armed suspects.
“Preliminary reports indicate that a security cash truck was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash and unconfirmed commodities leading to a shootout police recovered three high-calibre firearms, two magazines with live ammunition, and three vehicles suspected to have been used. Another vehicle recovered at Randpark Ridge, Honeydew, is believed to have been hijacked and later abandoned by the suspects after the robbery,” said Masondo.