The body of an unidentified man has been found in the boot of a vehicle used as a getaway car by suspected supermarket robbers in Uitenhage on Wednesday.
According to a police statement, on Wednesday around 3.30pm, a group of about four armed men stormed into a supermarket in Caledon Street, Uitenhage.
Employees and customers were reportedly held at gunpoint, while other suspects stole money from the tills. The men then fled the scene in a grey Toyota Corolla.
Onlookers flagged down a police patrol vehicle that was driving near the supermarket and alerted officers about the robbery.
Police gave chase and caught up with a getaway vehicle in Park Lane.
When the men saw the police vehicle, they started shooting and jumped out of the car, still shooting, police said.
Other police units then responded, resulting in the arrest of three men. One of them was injured during a shootout and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Police also recovered two firearms.
While inspecting the getaway vehicle, the body of a man was found in the boot. Police say it is unknown whether the dead man had been hijacked and killed in the crossfire or whether he was working with the suspects.
No police officers were injured during the shootout.
The three men, aged between 24 and 36, are due to appear in the Uitenhage Magistrate’s Court soon on charges ranging from business robbery to attempted murder.
An inquest docket was also opened and is to be investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.