Two alleged armed robbers were shot dead and four others and a civilian were wounded in a shoot-out with police and security personnel following an armed robbery at a warehouse at the OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, on Saturday afternoon, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Gauteng said
SAPS officers and the OR Tambo International Airport’s joint security forces responded to an armed robbery in progress at the cargo section of the airport where a shoot-out between law enforcement and the suspects ensued, which resulted in two fatalities, seven arrests, and the recovery of stolen cargo and five firearms, Gauteng SAPS spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said.
“At about 12.30 today [Saturday], a group of suspects entered the cargo section at the OR Tambo Airport and held the staff at gunpoint at one of the warehouses. The manager of the warehouse noticed employees lying on the floor and immediately notified the police and airport security,” she said.
“On arrival at the scene, the police and airport security chased after the suspects’ truck and bakkie which had just left the warehouse. A high-speed chase and a shoot-out resulted. Subsequently, seven suspects were arrested, four of them with gunshot wounds, while two more suspects were shot dead. A civilian in the vicinity sustained a gunshot wound, apparently by a stray bullet.”
Upon searching the suspects’ truck, police officers recovered stolen Covid-19 personal protective equipment (face masks), as well as three crates containing cellphones.
“The SAPS and airport security’s swift response to the robbery is proof of the effective collaborative security measures that have been put in place at the airport. The arrested suspects will be appearing at the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court soon, facing charges of armed robbery,” Muridili said.
Police continued to appeal to anyone with any knowledge of crimes being planned to contact the SAPS on the Crime Stop number 086-00-10111 or via the MySAPSApp. All information would be treated in strictest confidence.
Earlier, ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring said paramedics, along with other services, arrived on the scene shortly before 2pm to find several local authorities already in attendance.
“On closer inspection, medics found several men, believed to be suspects, lying inside and outside the premises. Paramedics quickly assessed the patients and found that two men had sustained fatal gunshot wounds. Nothing could be done for them and they were declared dead,” he said.
The wounded people were treated for their wounds and transported under the supervision of local authorities to a nearby hospital, Meiring said.