THREE suspects were killed and two victims were injured during a business robbery in Blackburn on Tuesday afternoon.
The scene unfolded at a general dealer store, and when Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) arrived, they established that the situation was quite complex.
“Several officers were dispatched, and upon arrival, discovered the body of a man next to a river. He had sustained gunshot wounds and blunt-force trauma to his body and head,” said RUSA spokesperson Prem Balram.
It was established that the man was a suspect in the robbery that occurred approximately 200m away.
“He was shot by the victim and collapsed in the yard. Members of the community dragged him to the river where they assaulted him. They placed a tyre over his head and attempted to set it alight,” said Balram.
While at the initial scene, officers were told that two victims were shot in the nearby vicinity.
RUSA Paramedics located a residence situated in the same yard as the general dealer, where they learnt that the homeowner was confronted by five robbers as they exited the store.
“The suspects opened fire on him and his family, and the man returned fire. One suspect was shot and was dragged from the yard and killed by the community next to a river. CCTV footage shows his accomplices searching him and fleeing with his firearm prior to the mob arriving,” said Balram.
One of the victims, a 41-year-old, was shot in the chest and right thigh, and his 33-year-old cousin was shot in the buttocks and leg.
The 21-year-old owner of the general dealer store sustained blunt-force trauma to his head after he was pistol-whipped. The injured were stabilised at the scene before being expedited to hospital by ambulance.
“Members of the community pursued the remaining suspects on foot. They discovered that one of the alleged robbers had surrendered after being confronted by a private security officer. The officer managed to recover a 9mm pistol from the suspect before the community beat him to death,” said Balram.
A third suspect who was fleeing from the scene opened fire on a Fidelity ADT Special Intervention Unit Officer outside Cornubia Mall.
“The officer disembarked from his vehicle and returned fire. The suspect was shot multiple times and died at the scene. Two firearms were recovered in his possession. The officer did not sustain any injuries,” he said.
Two suspects allegedly fled in a silver Toyota Corolla and remain at large.