Bullets fly in city heist shootout

Sne Masuku and Mary Papayya

Sne Masuku and Mary Papayya

Police and armed robbers exchanged gunfire in central Durban yesterday morning, leaving one of the robbers dead and another injured.

T he gunmen had robbed a supermarket at gunpoint and fled with an undisclosed amount of money at about 8am.

The robbers also made off with cash and cellphones from staff members and customers. N o one was injured during the robbery. Police patrolling the area were alerted to the incident . They spotted the robbers and gave chase.

Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said that during the chase, on the corner of Park and Smith streets, the robbers turned and fired at the police.

"The police fired back. One of the robbers died on the scene, and another sustained a serious gunshot wound. The others fled.

"The injured suspect was taken to hospital, where police are keeping a very close eye on him," Mdunge said.

Mdunge said a 9mm pistol, a handgun and a black BMW used as a getaway car and believed to have been stolen were recovered.

l The alleged killer of Durban detective Philip Nxumalo, 48, is under police guard in hospital. The suspect, 52, allegedly opened fire on Nxumalo and other detectives on Thursday at Inanda thinking they were a gang of hijackers who had just hijacked him.

Police spokesman Phindile Hadebe said: "He will appear in court once he is discharged."

Nxumalo was described by his colleagues as a "super police officer" with an "incredible crime intelligence network".