The police in Mangaung launched a search after a group of men attacked a retail chain store in Bloemfontein on Sunday and looted goods from the store. The suspects then tried to rob a woman, shot a police constable and held a security guard hostage.
According to reports, a group of about eight men smashed the shop windows with hammers around 18:00, rushed in and robbed the shop of expensive perfumes, sunglasses and clothes.
Lt. Col. Police spokesperson Thabo Covane says the group then allegedly split into two, with one group running towards the Kings Way exit and the other heading towards the stormwater drainage tunnel on the west side of the shopping centre.
“It is alleged that one of the groups came across a woman on the way to the tunnel and tried to rob her of her possessions. A member of the Department of Correctional Services who was not on duty during the incident saw the robbery and tried to intervene.
“One of the attackers aimed a firearm at the officer and pulled the trigger. The group then ran away and disappeared into the storm water drainage tunnel.”
According to Covane, the other group held a security guard hostage at the Kings Way exit.
“A police vehicle patrolling Kings Way noticed the commotion and stopped to investigate.
“The robbers opened fire on the vehicle and shot a 41-year-old constable from the crime-fighting unit on the right hip. The officer tried to drive away for his safety, but became unconscious, after which the suspects robbed him of his firearm and ammunition.”
Covane says the suspects fled the scene on foot and in motor vehicles in different directions.
“A case of burglary, robbery and attempted murder was opened at the Park Road police station.
“Both wounded officers were taken to the hospital for treatment and a team of experts was called to process the crime scenes,” says Covane.
People with information that can help with the investigation of the case or lead to the arrest of the suspects are requested to col. Call Msokoli Bolsiek on 082 466 8530 or submit the information on the MySAPS app.