N2 shootout at King Shaka Airport

Five armed robbers have been killed in a shootout with police and private security companies on the N2 near King Shaka Airport in KwaZulu-Natal following a high speed chase.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Jay Naicker said that the gang of eight armed suspects arrived in two vehicles at a mall in Empangeni.

They held up the security guard and broke into a shop at the mall. The suspects stole clothing and various other items before fleeing the scene.

A security company in the area was notified and immediately alerted all other role-players to indicate that the vehicles were travelling towards Durban.

A high speed chase ensued on the N2.

At the Tongaat toll plaza, other security companies and police officers joined in the chase. The suspects opened fire on their pursuers and there was an exchange of gunfire.

Both vehicles lost control and overturned along the N2 freeway near the King Shaka International Airport.

Five suspects died in both vehicles whilst two were found with serious injuries and transported to hospital.

Police arrested the eighth suspect as he fled the scene.

Three firearms as well as house breaking equipment and other exhibits were found in both vehicles.

“The suspects will be profiled to establish if they are linked to other crimes in the province,” said Naicker.

He added that police opened dockets for armed robbery, attempted murder as well as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition will be opened against the men.

“Two suspects remain in a critical condition in hospital whilst the third is expected to appear in court soon,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has commended the security companies and police officers who responded.

Speaking to role-players at the crime scene, the Lt Gen Mkhwanazi personally thanked them for their bravery and determination in pursuing the armed gang.

“This incident demonstrates the need for police to work very closely with other force multipliers including security companies and the business sector,” he said.