Thug stabs and shoots police officer
A 32-year-old police officer, who graduated from the academy in December, has been murdered after being stabbed eight times and shot once in the chest.
The officer, who cannot be named as his family is yet to be notified, was stabbed after giving chase to a thug whom he and his partners stopped to search in the township of Weillers Farm in De Deur, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday.
Locals said they were alarmed by gunshots that were fired before seeing a 26-year-old suspect being chased by the officer.
Nthatisi Moremi told SowetanLIVE that she heard two shots fired into the air and saw two men running away.
“Initially I thought it was a robbery at the local foreign national shop. But then I saw these two guys running away from the direction where the shots were fired, then I saw a police officer in civilian clothes chasing them,” Moremi said.
She said the suspect ran into a yard and hid inside a shack and waited to pounce on the officer.
“He stood at the entrance and once the officer was within range, he stabbed him eight times on his chest, took the officer’s gun, and shot him once before running away.”
Moremi said she ran and hid after witnessing the officer being murdered.
Themba Maseko, another resident, said the suspect then attempted to run away but was stopped by other officers who had been giving chase.
“After shooting the officer he tried to run but three other officers were running after him. They shot several times in his direction and the guy [suspect] fell to the ground,” Maseko said.
“At first we thought he was shot but it wasn’t the case. He was merely lying down because he realised he was cornered.”
National police spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili said the deceased and five other officers attached to the De Deur police station’s crime prevention unit were tracing alleged drug dealers when two suspects were spotted.
“Upon seeing the police van they immediately fled in different directions.
"The police gave chase on foot. The constable in hot pursuit cornered the suspect and on confrontation, the suspect fatally stabbed him in the chest. He took the member's firearm and discharged it. The police officers that were giving backup heard gunshot sounds and saw the alleged suspect with a firearm,” Muridili said.
She said the other officers fired shots towards the suspect and he fell to the ground.
“He was found with a bloody knife suspected to have been used to take the life of the deceased member. The member’s official firearm was also recovered,” she said.
She said the 26-year-old suspect will appear in the Vereeniging magistrate’s court on a charge of murder.
Meanwhile, national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said he was saddened by the officer’s killing.
“He had just started his career in the service with a lot of passion and energy hence he pursued a potentially dangerous suspect without any hesitation. He died with his boots on, he was a hero,” Sitole said.