Two suspects allegedly linked to the mass shooting incident in Richard’s Bay were shot and killed at the upmarket Zimbali Estate in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal.
The KwaZulu-Natal police revealed that the suspects were believed to be involved in the killing of five people at a parking lot in Richards Bay CBD just two days prior.
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According to Colonel Robert Netshiunda, spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Stability Unit, the police received intelligence regarding the whereabouts of the suspects and swiftly acted on it.
The officers from the Stability Unit operationalized the information and surrounded the suspects’ residence on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the operation quickly escalated when the suspects opened fire on the police officers. In self-defence, the officers retaliated, resulting in fatal gunshot wounds to both suspects. The ages of the deceased suspects range between 30 and 41 years old.
During a subsequent search of the scene of the crime, six firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition were discovered. This alarming arsenal emphasizes the dangerous nature of the suspects and the potential threat they pose to the community.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has been called in to further investigate the incident and ensure transparency in the ongoing police investigation. Authorities are also continuing their search for any additional suspects who may be linked to the mass shooting in Richard’s Bay.
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In response to the incident, Francois Schoeman, chairman of Zimbali Estate, sent an internal memo to residents. In the memo, Schoeman explained that the police operation was conducted in coordination with the SAPS Crime Intelligence Unit. The operation aimed to apprehend a resident who was allegedly associated with an ongoing criminal case.
While Schoeman acknowledged that detailed information about the case was limited, he reassured residents that the estate had been cleared of these criminal elements. The successful operation, albeit tragic, demonstrates the commitment of the SAPS and the estate management to maintain the safety and security of the Zimbali community.