It reads like a scene from an action movie but what occurred on Tuesday was not what three thugs had bargained for when they committed two house robberies in the Wierdapark area of Centurion.
Two of the suspects, aged 32 and 36, are fighting for their lives in hospital after they were shot by police following a high-speed chase through the area.
The two who were injured met their match after SAPS Air Wing members received a message to look out for a speeding green Corolla in Centurion.
According to police, the helicopter spotted the vehicle on the Ben Schoeman highway and immediately tailed the car as it sped away.
The suspects were fleeing after a house robbery near Wierdapark. They had sped off in their vehicle before police were alerted by a complainant.
They took the Jean Avenue off-ramp and turned into Rabie Street, where they were driving in the wrong lane against oncoming traffic.
“They were now posing a danger to many people as they were driving against oncoming traffic and the police started to shoot at the car from the chopper.
“The car came to a standstill after police fired several bullets at the suspects’ car.
“Two of them were injured and (are) under police guard at the hospital,” said police spokesman Captain Brian Plaatjies.
Two ambulances raced to the scene and paramedics were working frantically to keep the two robbery suspects alive.
The car in which they were travelling stood in the middle of the road.
Glass from the vehicle’s shattered windows lay scattered for nearly 15m along the tarmac.
Traffic was heavily affected as the police secured the scene and diverted traffic off Rabie Street into Basden Avenue.
Onlookers, most of whom had only heard gunfire from far until they saw police surrounding the vehicle, lined the streets and watched as police investigated the scene.
The two robbers lay on the ground bleeding.
But police were taking no chances, tying their hands despite the fact that both of them were on drips.
Police believe a third suspect fled the scene during the shootout.
An eyewitness apparently saw him running away into the nearby veld.
The eyewitness told police that the suspect ran across the veld while he was taking his clothes off at the same time.
That suspect had not yet been arrested but police were hunting for him, said Plaatjies.
It is suspected he might also have been shot before the car came to a halt, and that he ran away with a firearm still on him.
Police could not confirm who was driving the vehicle as the men were all out of the car when police pounced on them.
Police units from Lyttelton and Wierdabrug jointly responded to the chase, but no shots were fired from their cars as the Corolla had already been brought to a halt. - Pretoria News