police Body parts Mantsole

Police crime scene: Image: SAPS

Police: Lucky escape – bystanders get away after ATM bombers open fire on them

Three men were asleep at a filling station when eleven suspects bombed an ATM. One of the victims was shot before they fled.

police Body parts Mantsole

Police crime scene: Image: SAPS

The police said three men travelling from Gauteng to the Eastern Cape were resting at an Engen garage when they were awoken by a rap on the windscreen in the early hours of Tuesday morning, 11 January. An unknown man allegedly levelled a weapon at one of them and opened fire.


South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in the Free State Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane said the incident took place at approximately 1:10 at the filling station in OR Tambo Street.

A 34-year-old victim, sitting in the vehicle, was shot and wounded in his upper left arm, said Covane.

The trio was shocked when they looked outside and saw approximately 11 men outside.

“The driver drove away as gunshots continued accompanied by a loud bang,” said the police spokesperson.

“The employees at the filling station also heard the loud sound from their restroom. One of the workers at the station pressed the panic button and the Security Company reacted and arrived at the scene.”

The suspects reportedly fled the scene on foot. According to the police report, it is alleged that the loud bang was from explosives the suspects detonated by the ATM.

No money was taken from the ATM, said Covane. The wounded victim was rushed to a hospital for medical treatment.

The police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

“Any member of the public who might have information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects is requested to call Sergeant Ntingi Moshompela at 082-466-8530,” said Covane.

Anonymous tip-offs can be made via the MySAPS App or via the Crime Stop number at 08600-10111.