Shoppers flee as armed robbers hit Pavilion mall

A file photo of The Pavillion shopping centre in Durban.

A file photo of The Pavillion shopping centre in Durban.

Published Jun 9, 2016


Durban - It was high drama at The Pavilion on Wednesday night when five men with pistols and a rifle robbed a jewellery shop.

Police spokeswoman Nqobile Gwala said the men entered the shop about 6.30pm.

They demanded money and took jewellery.

“When they were about to exit the mall, they came across the security guards and fired shots. No injuries were sustained by the security guards,” she said.

A Durban man who was at the mall when the incident happened, Dylan Walsh, said when the shots were fired, one ricocheted off a pillar.

He had been window shopping and said foot traffic was not heavy at the time.

He was coming up from the movie theatres on the escalators when he heard people screaming and running.

The escalators stopped and people turned and ran.

“I heard a bang and knew it was gunfire because I am a sports shooter and I know what gunfire sounds like.

“I am not one of those people who think that every bang is a gunshot,” Walsh said.

He got behind a pillar for cover and saw a vehicle belonging to the suspects go into the boom gate and out of the parking lot.

“Another shot was fired. The round hit a pillar in the undercover parking lot at the Hypermarket exit.”

Walsh said he and another man went to investigate.

They found jewellery, a four-pound hammer and other items in the parking lot. Security staff closed the metal roll-down gates and all booms stopped working.

“The whole time security was shouting on the radio,” he said.

He said there was a second wave of panic a moment later, when people at the mall realised that one of the suspects was still in the mall and, according to other witnesses, he drew a firearm and started running.

Belongings were dropped while people fled for safety were left strewn on the floor.

“Police arrived and were assisting security to check the camera footage to locate the suspect, who was still inside the mall,” he said.

Gwala said police had not found the suspects by the time of publication time.

She said a business robbery case was opened at the Westville police station.

[email protected]


The Mercury

Related Topics: