The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating a case of death as a result of police action after a suspect was allegedly shot by cops in the early hours of Friday morning.
It is alleged that on Friday the 24th of December at about 01:54 am, members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) members from vanderbijlpark received information about a wanted suspect who was accused of murdering a woman, raping his girlfriend and then brutally assaulting her on Thursday.
The suspect was allegedly recently released from prison.
“It is alleged the police proceeded to Hertz Boulevard in Vanderbijlpark where they found one male person who told them that the suspect was at his place looking for the girlfriend and when he didn’t find the girlfriend, he then threatened a male person who was in the house (complainant) and his family, that he was going to burn down their house, accusing them of selling him out to the police. It is further alleged that he broke the windows of the complainant’s room before he left the house,” said Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa in a statement.
As the police continued on their search for the suspect, they left two members at the house in case the suspect returned.
“While they were in the house one of the police sergeant left with the complainant which is a male person and a female who was in the house with them. They went to the backroom and left one police officer in the main house. While they were at the backroom the complainant heard the suspect shouting his name to open the door for him and the complainant immediately informed the Sergeant who was with him that it was the suspect who was calling on him to open the door. The police officer then called the other officer who remained in the main house and told him to come out as the suspect was at the backroom.
“It is alleged that instead of the complainant opening the door, it was the Sergeant who opened the door and the suspect was found holding a knife in his hand. The police officer instructed him to drop the knife, instead he charged towards the Sergeant police officer. The officer then shot the suspect on the right thigh and the suspect then grabbed the barrel of the pistol; they both wrestled for the firearm and the suspect was overpowering the police officer and the officer discharged the fire arm twice but the fire arm did not go off because the cartridge casing in the chamber got stuck.
“The other police officer who was in the main house came to the rescue of his colleague. When he arrived, he found both the police officer and the suspect still wrestling for the firearm, he then tried to pull the suspect away from the officer with no success and the suspect then took the firearm and pointed it towards the officer who was pulling him from the back. The police officer, after seeing that the suspect had a gun pointed towards him, then pulled out his own firearm and shot at the suspect on the abdomen. The suspect succumbed to his injuries as a result of four gunshots. He died on the scene.”
Investigations are ongoing.