Well-known suspect dies in shooting hailstorm

Man linked to armed robberies, hijackings ambushed leaving club

A suspect in several hijacking and armed robbery cases died in a hail of bullets outside a New Brighton tavern in the early hours of yesterday.

During the shooting – in which about 25 rounds were fired – a vendor was hit in the leg by a stray bullet as an unknown number of gunmen opened fire on Mlungisi “Risto” Hans, 31.

Hans, who was believed to belong to a hijacking and robbery gang, was well-known to police but had never been convicted.

Between 2012 and 2015, Hans was arrested 10 times in connection with crimes including hijackings, armed robberies and attempted murder.

Each case was withdrawn by the state for various reasons, mainly due to witnesses withdrawing their statements.

The only charge currently against Hans, for which he was out on bail, was an attempted murder dating back to 2015. He was due to appear in court for the case at the end of the month.

Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said Hans was shot in Moduka Street in New Brighton at about 1.30am.

“According to bystanders, he left the club and walked down the street,” Beetge said.

“It appears that an unknown person or people were waiting for him in an alleyway and opened fire when he began to run away.

“A chase ensued and several more shots were fired at him.

“He was eventually shot dead in the road.”

During the shooting, a 36-year-old vendor was hit in the leg by a stray bullet, as he tried to duck for cover, Beetge said.

A large number of spent cartridges were scattered on the road, showing Hans had been ambushed, he said.

Police were investigating whether the shooting was possibly a revenge attack or linked to Hans’s pending court case.

Motherwell Cluster commander Major-General Dawie Rabie said that cases of people involving themselves in violent crime – particularly robbery gangs – in many instances ended with the criminals shooting each other.

“You live by the sword, you die by the sword,” he said.

“Our community needs to stamp out the criminal elements by assisting police with information to arrest the perpetrators.”

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