Cop shot during attack on 2 ATMs

Nkosana Lekotjolo

Nkosana Lekotjolo

A gang of robbers armed with AK-47 assault rifles shot a policeman in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, yesterday after blowing up ATMs at a shopping centre.

The gang of more than 10 men wearing balaclavas opened fire on the police after blowing two Standard Bank ATMs at 2am.

The police retaliated and an officer was shot in the head during the fierce gun battle. The fleeing robbers also riddled a police car with bullets.

Police spokesman Felicity Radebe said AK-47 cartridges found at the scene were removed by bomb squad experts as evidence.

"The police officer who was shot had minor head injuries and was taken to Lenmed Hospital in Lenasia. Although he was still in shock, he was released and taken home where he is recovering," Radebe said.

The robbers sped off empty-handed in two vehicles because the cash boxes survived their bombs.

Standard Bank security chief Lucas Phasiya said this was the second time the two ATMs had been bombed. Phasiya was at the scene after security guards called him and the police.

"The security guards told me that a suspicious-looking white van had parked near the two ATMs. They saw four guys jump out, cut the steel door and then rip it open.

"The guards quickly pressed a panic button to call the police. But within minutes the security guards heard an explosion and saw the robbers fleeing," said Phasiya.