Robbers Still at Large

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The three men who escaped after a failed armed robbery that resulted in two fatalities at the Woermann Brock Store in Greenwell Matongo, Katutura, on Sunday night are still at large. The three managed to escape after an exchange of gunfire with members of the Serious Crime Unit, but their four colleagues were not so fortunate. Two of the robbers were shot dead at the scene, while two others sustained injuries and were arrested. A spokesperson for the Namibian Police James Matengu told New Era yesterday that the robbery took place at 19h40 Sunday. Matengu said seven robbers stormed into the shop and held late night shoppers and staff at gunpoint. They allegedly took cash and some items from the shop before attempting to flee the scene, only to realise that the police had surrounded them. Matengu said the robbers opened fire, after which the police returned the fire in self-defence. He said two robbers were shot dead while two more were injured. The remaining three escaped in a car. The police spokesperson added that one of the suspects that escaped was injured. The two suspects who were arrested are still at the Katutura hospital and their condition has been described as stable. Two customers were also slightly injured, while members of the police force sustained no injuries. It is not known when the two suspects will appear in court. Matengu does not rule out the possibility that some staff members had a hand in the robbery, but noted that at the moment no member of staff has been arrested. Investigations are continuing. The manager who was on duty said the drama at the grocery shop started at about 20h30 on Sunday. She narrated that she was standing at a teller point when seven robbers stormed into the shop and started pointing guns at the customers and staff. Staff members and about 20 customers who were in the shop started shouting and screaming. “Some of the people started to cry and everybody started running to the back of the shop to find a hiding place.” The manager, who still appears terrified by the events of Sunday night said the robbers targeted one teller machine that was still open and collected over N$3 000. It was while they were trying to open other teller machines that members of the Namibian Police Serious Crime Unit arrived. “The Serious Crime guys stormed into the shop and told everybody to lie down. It was just like in the movies.” She noted that some of the robbers threw away their weapons and joined the terrified customers and staff members by taking cover. Three of the robbers refused to surrender to the police and started shooting at them. “One of the robbers was struck in the face by a bullet and collapsed to the ground with his face covered in blood. I think he died on the spot.” She added that a second robber was shot in the belly and went crashing onto the floor. Soon afterwards the Serious Crime Unit took total control of the situation. The manager, who declined to provide her name and neither would she be photographed for fear of revenge, added that within minutes ambulances and City Police arrived on the scene. The injured were rushed to hospital, while some were treated for shock.