Police warned the man to put his gun down, but he persisted. Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said police had no option but to shoot the man.
“Despite several verbal warnings by the police to the armed suspect to put down the firearm, he ignored the warning and continued to charge towards them. The officer had no alternative but to shoot at the armed suspect,” said Budhram.
A witness who identified himself only as Stigger said police had to fire several shots before the man collapsed. “He refused to go down on the first and the second shot, and eventually police had to use a rifle to bring him down,” said Stigger.
Budhram said the suspect also fired at the police.
Part of Boshoff Street between Victoria Road and Greyling Street, where the shooting took place, was cordoned off with yellow police tape during lunchtime. Traffic flow was diverted from either side of the crime scene and a crowd gathered around the scene where the body of the man lay face down in a pool of blood.
Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said the man was shot three times.
Budhram said the man was trying to escape after he was involved in two robberies in the space of 15 minutes. He said the man was one of three who entered Save Cash and Carry in Victoria Road at 1 pm. They assaulted the security guard on duty and robbed him of his 9 mm pistol.
Police were called, but by the time they arrived the men had escaped.
“Police began patrolling the immediate vicinity in search of the suspects and a short while later came across all three suspects in Boshoff Street, robbing a pedestrian,” said Budhram.
The gun found in the possession of the dead man was identified as the same that was earlier stolen from the security guard.
The guard was taken to St Anne’s Hospital for treatment. Police investigations continue.