Police in Port Elizabeth arrested three suspects during the early hours of Christmas day following a shootout in Motherwell.
According to police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu, at about 02:50, patrolling police spotted two suspicious men emerging from a street near an Engen garage, and attempted to engaged them.
“When they spotted the police, both males turned around and started to walk in a small passage back towards Qutsa Street,” Naidu said in a statement.
“As members approached them, the males started shooting at the members who retaliated. While still pursuing them, the suspects dropped a black bag containing four improvised explosive devices. A 9mm Luger firearm was also found on the scene.”
Police called for backup and continued pursuing the suspects. One of the men, aged 49, was found in Bira Street with a gunshot wound to his hand.
The second suspect, aged 31, was found hiding in a yard also in Bira Street. A third suspect was also apprehended in Bikana Street.
Police found three firearms, including an R5 rifle as well as five explosive devices and a hijacked vehicle, said Naidu.
“The serial numbers from all three firearms were filed off.”
Naidu said that all three suspects have been detained on charges of attempted murder, possession of explosives, possession of prohibited firearms, illegal possession of ammunition and possession of suspected hijacked vehicle.
They are expected to appear in the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga commended police in Motherwell on the arrests and having a zero tolerance approach to festive season crime.
“We will not be threatened by these criminals as we continue to clamp down on them. The police officers from the Motherwell cluster are commended for their efforts in arresting these suspects and preventing the commission of serious crime,” Ntshinga said.