Durban, Apr. 17 (ANI): An Indian-origin store manager, Krish Pillay, was killed in Durban while heroically saving his staff and customers from gunmen, who had stormed into the Shoprite supermarket.
The drama began when five armed robbers burst into the store and held staff and customers at gunpoint while they demanded money from the cash tills.
The store, on the corner of Kenyon and Howden Roads, soon became a battleground when police snipers and hostage negotiators entered the store.
The staff and a few customers locked themselves in the canteen while the gunmen were downstairs, the News 24 reports.
"At this stage, Krish was still downstairs trying to get everyone to safety. We all thought that the robbers were going to shoot us," Vee Singh, Pillay's subordinate, said.
Police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge said that the police entered the store and confronted the suspects who then opened fire in their direction.
"One of the bullets hit the manager. Police feared for their lives and returned fire. Three suspects were shot dead," he said.
Pillay, who was shot in his abdomen, was then dragged outside by members of the SAPS Dog Unit.
Pillay's family members arrived shortly after the shooting. His wife and sisters were hysterical when they saw his body, covered in foil, lying near the entrance of the store.
Meanwhile regular shoppers and residents have expressed shock at Pillay's tragic death. He was well known in the area, and was popular with both his staff and customers.
"He was never too busy for a chat and always went the extra mile for everyone. It's so sad that he had to die in such a horrible way. I can't believe that this has happened again. An innocent man has lost his life," he said. (ANI)