Seven dead, nine injured as Hawks prevent robbery

The Hawks acted on a tip-off and prevented 20 gunmen from entering a Protea Coin depot.

Police tape closes off a crime scene. Picture: EWN.

ROBERTVILLE - At least seven people were reported dead on Saturday evening, while nine more were wounded in a shootout with police in western Johannesburg.

The incident unfolded in Robertville.

The Hawks said they acted on a tip-off and prevented about 20 gunmen from entering a Protea Coin depot.

According to the Hawks' Paul Ramaloko, the men, who were armed with pistols and assault rifles opened fire when they saw the police.

"We retaliated, killing instantly seven armed robbers, nine of them were wounded and taken to hospital under heavy police guard."

Dozens of police cars were parked on the street leading to the depot.

A few meters away, the area had been cordoned off.

A truck belonging to the robbers was visible, while the silhouettes of bodies could also be seen on the ground.

In the badly lit area, crime scene detectives were hard at work combing the scene in the rain.

Police said the group of men tried to rob three other businesses in area before they hit the depot.