Pretoria - Gauteng law-enforcement are hot on the heels of 12 gunmen who stormed a Pretoria police building, tied up a security guard, and shot and wounded an officer in the early hours of yesterday, according to the SAPS.
The attack, which took place at 2am, is believed to be a botched robbery.
Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the police were following all leads to catch the suspects.
“We have not caught them yet, but we have a few leads and we are following them as we continue with the investigation,” Mathe said.
The Pretoria News understands that while attempting to enter the police building, 12 heavily-armed men overpowered a security guard and tied him up.
In the process, the gang shot and wounded a police officer who was rushed to hospital.
Mathe was not yet clear what attracted the alleged robbers to the building, but it is widely suspected that they wanted guns.
For security reasons, she also could not disclose what was kept in the building.
Mathe said the assailants were intimidated by police officers working at the building and decided to retreat, leading to a shoot-out where an officer was wounded.
Mathe said: “The 12 suspects are believed to be using a white Ford Ranger bakkie.
“The motive for the attack on the police building is under investigation. Nothing was taken from the building.
“The investigation is unfolding; please give the detectives space to do their work.”
Earlier reports claimed that the men entered the building and tried to break into the safe alleged to hold drugs kept as evidence, but failed.
They also failed to break into the armoury when officers from the forensics department were alerted and the shoot-out ensued.
However, Mathe denied that the assailants entered the building, saying they were stopped by the police.
Criminals have been targeting police stations in recent years to steal firearms that are mostly used for brazen robberies.
Late in 2021 a gang of armed men stormed the Malamulele police station in Limpopo and held officers at gunpoint and took R5 rifles, 9mm pistols, shotguns and an undisclosed amount of ammunition.
The suspects later used the firearms in a spate of robberies.
The suspects forced some members into the back of a police van while one member was ordered to unlock the safe where the suspects took the weapons and ammunition.
The assailants were later apprehended after a manhunt.