A dramatic shoot-out and escape occurred at the Lansdowne police station in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, early on Sunday morning. Five suspects attempted to make a getaway before one of the men was shot dead, three were rearrested, and the fifth – one of the Cape’s most wanted criminals – got away. Thankfully, Igshaan Dyers, is now back behind bars.
Igshaan’s temporary freedom was ended on Monday when police tracked down the 26-year-old in Manenberg, following a tip-off, according to provincial police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk.
The career criminal was then taken back to the Lansdowne police station where police declared his arrest to the waiting media.
Dyers was present for the shaming, and is due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court today on a range of charges.
His impressive rap sheet includes multiple prior charges of housebreaking and theft.
Now he can include escape from lawful custody, robbery and assault of a police officer, to that list.
He had been arrested during the course of last week for possession of alleged stolen items.
A witness, who watched the scene unfold from her flat’s balcony on the first floor, and who didn’t want to be named, asserted that Sunday’s prison break was like a scene straight from a movie:
It was like in the movies. It was pouring with rain and just bullets flying everywhere. At first I thought it was rubber bullets because it sounded like firecrackers. I was so frightened and luckily my kids were not playing at the gate.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s, Moses Dlamini, explains:
Apparently one of the suspects wrestled the keys from the officer, then took them and opened the cells where the other inmates were kept. All five attempted to escape and police gave chase.
The unnamed witness and her two sons, aged four and two, saw one of the suspects being shot in the abdomen. His body was removed five hours later after investigators were satisfied that they had fully attended to the crime scene.
The woman acknowledged the men were criminals, but condemned the fact that police had opened fire on the “unarmed” men:
You should punish them but not kill them. When the ambulance came he was still alive, but they didn’t even give him oxygen. They were firing blind shots and one of the kids could have been hit. They way they were carrying on with the guns was unreal.
Another witness to the escape, Stewart Mukanwa, 33, helped the police capture one of the escapees.
He and some friends had seen the suspect duck into a storage room at a nearby block of flats, in an attempt to escape the gunfire:
I was standing with three of my friends when we suddenly heard a huge noise and screaming coming from the police station. Suddenly we saw the men jump through the space of a broken panel of the [police] station’s garage door. They then jumped over the vibracrete. A female officer came running and then more officers. One ran away and the other one was shot. When the other guy heard the gunshots he tried to run inside the storage room and then I went and pushed him out and the police got him. I was so scared. It was really shocking to see someone die in front of you… I couldn’t even sleep that night.
Mukanwa thought the suspect had more than likely become terrified when he saw the other suspect gunned down not far from him.
One of the officers remained in hospital after his arm was broken during the escape attempt, and cases of murder and attempted murder would be investigated.
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