Murder and robbery suspect who absconded with cop’s gun under police guard in hospital

A murder and robbery suspect who absconded with a police officer’s gun is now under police guard in a Mpumalanga hospital. Stock photo.
A murder and robbery suspect who absconded with a police officer’s gun is now under police guard in a Mpumalanga hospital. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/123RF Premium

A 31-year-old suspect who robbed a police officer of his firearm is under guard in hospital after “shooting himself” with the weapon during an alleged break-in at Mpumalanga.

The officer was robbed of his service pistol a few days ago while driving the suspect, who was to be questioned about a murder case.

Police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi said a manhunt was launched and the suspect was caught on Sunday.

“It all unfolded [on Sunday] when members of a family found the suspect armed with a firearm inside their house. While still wondering how the suspect gained entry, he [suspect] reportedly shot himself,” said Hlathi.

The police found him in a pool of blood with the firearm in his hand.

“They also found some ammunition at the scene and observed a broken window pane in the house, which suggests the suspect might have used it to gain entry. He was then arrested and medical personnel were immediately summoned to the scene where he was ferried to hospital.”

The police then realised he was a wanted suspect in a case of murder and robbery from February 19.

“They suspect that he was also involved in a robbery which occurred recently where a firearm was used. When the suspect absconded with the police firearm, he was to be questioned about a woman who was stabbed to death in Dullstroom,” he said.

“His arrest is a breakthrough because in the recent armed robbery incident, it is said that a businessman was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash at gunpoint on February 26. Reports indicate that the victim closed his tuck shop [and] took a walk in Dullstroom when a suspect approached him ... held him hostage at gunpoint and then robbed him of his money before fleeing the scene.”

Hlathi said the suspect faces a charge of housebreaking with intent to commit a crime, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, armed robbery and common robbery.

The police are checking if he is linked to other cases. He will appear in court after recuperating in hospital.

TimesLIVE


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