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01 November 2011 at 10:12 - Posted by Anonymous

Cops pounce just in time


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Crime intelligence officers in a silver BMW 3 series spotted a silver double-cab Toyota on the corner of Church and Industrial streets, Mayfair, Joburg. They gave chase and the bakkie crashed into a traffic light after an exchange of gunfire between the p

The men in the Toyota Hilux were planning something. They were armed with pistols and had at least one assault rifle – and they wouldn’t hesitate to use them.

But before they could get to their target, the men were spotted by police officers driving in an unmarked silver BMW. The officers, members of Joburg’s Crime Intelligence Unit, tried to get the Toyota to pull over.
 
The occupants responded by opening fire, which triggered a car chase that would leave one of the criminals dead, and a police sergeant and a bystander injured.
 
SAPS spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said the police spotted the car close to Church Street in Mayfair just before midday on Monday.
 
Ndou couldn’t say why the Crime intelligence unit members wanted to stop the Toyota.
 
“They were doing their business,” he said.
 
When the occupants refused to pull over, a high-speed chase ensued.
 
At the corner of Church Street and Industrial Road, two vehicles that were not involved in the chase, a Mercedes-Benz and an Audi, were damaged.
 
Witnesses on Church Street spoke of hearing multiple shots as the cars sped by. Scattered across the scene lay spent cartridges, including those from an R4 or R5.
 
The Toyota, said witnesses, drove down Church Street, crossed Main Reef and into Crownwood Road. The bakkie then took a hard right into Planet Avenue, where the driver lost control and crashed into a traffic light.
 
The BMW stopped about 15m behind the crashed Toyota.
 
“They (the suspects) came out of the bakkie shooting,” said a witness, who didn’t want to be named. “It was then that the driver in the police car was shot.”
 
According to the witness, the men were armed with assault rifles. The police officers in the BMW returned fire with their pistols.
 
Vusi Mchunu, a hawker in Planet Avenue, said bullets whizzed past him. He ran from his stall and took cover about 100m away.
 
The three men from the Toyota bakkie ran into a motor spares shop. Police followed, and after a short gunbattle, one of the men died and another was arrested.
 
Ndou said police are investigating the possibility that other suspects might have been involved.
 
The injured sergeant, who was driving the BMW, was taken to Milpark Hospital, while the bystander was being treated at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. The identity of the police officer and bystander were yet to be released.
 
Shortly after the shooting, crime technicians began processing the scene, recovering four 9mm pistols from the bakkie and an assault rifle from inside the motor spares shop.
 
A police dog, trained to sniff out explosives and guns, arrived to seek out if there were any other firearms.
 
The windscreen of the silver BMW was pocked with bullet holes and there was dry blood on the driver’s door. One of the tyres was flat.
 
In the back seat of a nearby police car, a 33-year-old suspect sat handcuffed with a bandage across his head. He is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, where he will face charges of attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms. - The Star
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