Three dead, two seriously injured

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Crime does not pay.

This was the lesson five alleged robbers learnt yesterday.

Three were killed instantly and two seriously injured in a shootout with police in Diepkloof, Soweto.

They had allegedly robbed a Pick 'n Pay Supermarket in Boskruin of an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police spokesman Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said about eight robbers stormed the supermarket at about 9am.

"They held staff at gunpoint and ordered them to empty the tills into their bags," he said.

The alleged robbers then fled in two cars.

One car was spotted by the Johannesburg Crime Unit at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg, and a chase ensued.

Dlamini said police caught up with them in Diepkloof and a shootout broke out.

"When the suspects realised that they were cornered, they started shooting at the police and the police returned fire," said Dlamini.

He said three 9mm pistols and a substantial amount of money were recovered.

"Three suspects are still at large and a case of robbery is being investigated," he said.

Werner Vermaak, ER24 spokesman, said: "We responded to a violent shootout between police and robbers. Three suspects were declared dead on the scene and the two injured were taken to an unnamed hospital."

In a similar incident another Pick 'n Pay in Honeydew was robbed in June last year.

Police apprehended one suspect who led them to the hideout of other gang members in Jeppestown.

The gang opened fire on the police who shot back.

Four policemen and eight gang members were killed.

In yesterday's shooting, a Diepkloof family was caught in the crossfire.

The house owner, who refused to be named, said: "I got a call at work that there was a shooting and bullets were coming through my house. I told my children to stay calm and not to go out until it was safe."