DURBAN, Five robbery suspects and a bystander have been killed during a shootout with police at two scenes in Durban Monday as a group of armed men robbed a cash-in-transit vehicle, the police say.

One other suspect is in critical condition in hospital and two other suspects were arrested at the scene, said KwaZulu-Natal Province Police Spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele. One bystander, who was wounded during the shootout, died later in hospital, while three other bystanders are in critical condition.

In what was described as the deadliest robbery the city has seen in the last few months, one suspect was shot dead at the scene of the robbery in Springfield, Durban, and his accomplices fled the scene in a getaway car. They were confronted by police after a high-speed car chase at Parlock, north of the city, where a further bloody shootout ensued, leaving four suspects dead and four bystanders wounded.

Col. Mbhele said investigations into the incident were continuubg. One suspect was shot and killed at the scene and one was taken to the hospital. A police officer was also injured whilst at Springfield and then the chase carried on to Parlock where four suspects in a Mercedez Benz car, which was later discovered to be hijacked yesterday (Sunday) in Sydenham,” he said.

“A number of firearms were also recovered from the suspects and also the box with cash was also recovered at the scene. We are waiting for the local fingerprints record centre to come and attend the scene where they are still going to do investigations. It’s not clear for now whether it’s police that shot the bystanders or it’s the suspects because it was a crossfire. That will be determined by ballistics after the firearms have been tested.

One of the bystanders wounded during the shootout has since died in hospital while three others are in a critical condition. They are employees of a nearby firm and were on their tea break at the time of the incident.

We heard gunshots and saw a vehicle involved in a shootout with police. We ran for cover and lay down on our stomachs on the floor. They even arrested a colleague thinking he was one of the suspects. Three of my colleagues who were going to buy food during tea time sustained gunshot wounds during the shootout, said one bystander.