A video has been circulating on social media showing a shootout between City of Cape Town Metro Police Officers and a suspect in a vehicle on Monday, January 25. The incident started after the driver went through a red light and when Metro Police officers tried to stop him, he drove into their vehicle and caused damage.

He then sped away, but when officers caught up to him and instructed him to exit his car, he refused and the police proceeded to shoot his tyres.

The determination of the driver to evade the officers and avoid arrest compelled them to take alternative measures to stop him, said the City of Cape Town in a statement.

“Metro Police officers undergo regular training for such situations, as the video currently being circulated demonstrates the officers on scene took a decision to shoot out the getaway vehicles’ tyres, thus severely limiting his attempts to flee the scene at high speeds,” The City said via Twitter.

“Which could have resulted in the injury or death of innocent road users. When he sped away a second time, officers followed him. He subsequently rammed through parking garage doors and entered a parking garage of a building where they followed and arrested him.”

The suspect refused to obey a lawful instruction to stop and exit the vehicle, but instead continued in his attempts to resist arrest and evade the officers after he had already caused considerable damage to property and risk to the safety of road users, said the City.

“Officers were forced to take immediate action in an attempt to immobilise his vehicle and this begs the question of why he was so determined to evade them?” the City said. “This could have resulted in the injury or death of innocent road users. While Metro Police officers are armed to protect themselves, the City cannot ignore the responsibility they have in protecting the lives and safety of fellow road users and residents.

“With an alarming level of violence being displayed against our officers and levels of increased lawlessness on our road, our officers are often forced to take difficult decisions in the course of their duties. This can be seen with the level of firearm use that our officers have come across in similar situations during these enforcement operations, such as with the discovery of an restricted automatic assault rifle last week during a similar kind of traffic enforcement stop,” the City said.

The shooting has been reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate as per procedure. All due processes will be followed.

Footage of the incident can be seen here. 

Picture: Screenshot from video

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.