Renowned fast food restaurant McDonald’s lost two employees while five got injured early on Monday after a staff vehicle taking their employees home was fired on in Kuils River‚ Cape Town.
The bus came under attack as police was allegedly engaged in a hot pursuit of some suspects who just finished a robbery operation in a petrol station nearby.
In addition to two dead McDonald’s staff, a male and a female believed to be involved in the robbery operation were also shot dead.
A statement released by McDonald’s chief executive officer Greg Solomon on Monday, confirmed the tragic incident.
“McDonald’s SA can confirm that in the early hours of Monday morning‚ the transport vehicle in which some of our McDonald’s Kuilsriver crew were travelling in‚ was shot at”.
“Tragically two of our crew were fatally injured and five others sustained serious injuries.”
In the bid to arrest the situation, Solomon provided information that support was being provided to all those who were involved in the incident‚ the families of the victims that were fatally injured including the staff in the restaurant. He also proposed that trauma counselling would take place to help everyone affected by the incident bounce back.
He described McDonald’s as a distinguished company that takes care of its own.
“The safety and security of our staff is of the utmost importance to us. We are working closely with the relevant authorities in their investigation.
“We are shocked‚ horrified and deeply saddened at the death of two of our valued employees and the injuries sustained by five others. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of our Kuilsriver team.”
Speaking on behalf of Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), spokesman Robbie Raburabu claims the police officers in hot pursuit of the criminals mistook the taxi carrying McDonald’s employees as one connected to the robbers after it allegedly “obstructed” police from getting to the car that the robbers were using to flee.
“They obstructed the police’s way in trying to get to the vehicle‚ which gave police the idea that they were together.
“The (getaway) taxi had five robbers inside‚ and the police alleged they were shooting at them.”
However, Raburabu said that the initial info revealed that the police did not put on their blue lights as they pursued the robbers. This meas that the McDonald’s staff could not have known that it was a police car in pursuit of some criminals.
In a similar incident that happened on the 24th of February this year in the City’s Table View area, Phumeza Fudumele Nando’s employee was shot dead following an event that led the police to open fire on a taxi taking Nando’s employees home after their shift had ended. Another employee Zanele Dineka was left with a gunshot wound in the leg.
Police opened fire on a Toyota Avanza that was conveying seven employees from the Sandown outlet in Cape Town’s Blouberg area‚ to nearby Dunoon.
Police defended the officers who opened fire on the taxi saying it matched the description of a vehicle used in ATM bombings earlier that day. They claim to have asked the driver to stop the vehicle to no avail, thus, they opened fire on them thinking they were trying to get away.
McDonald’s has hired a forensic investigator David Klatzow to help “try to understand how this could have happened”.