A THIRD armed robber has died in hospital following a shootout with police on Saturday morning in Fourwinds Suburb in Bulawayo, it emerged in court yesterday.

Two of them were shot dead while attempting to rob Mr Mike Shawn Querl (45) at his house in Fourwinds while the third one died at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH). Another armed robber is still admitted to UBH after exchanging fire with police.

The armed robbers are part of the gang that  recently raided Choppies Supermarket in Parklands and Access Finance in the city, getting away with nearly US$300 000 and R1 million.

The deceased are Arnold Mpofu (39) and Nomore Hove (39) both from Gweru and Thamsanqa Mpofu from Kezi.

Makhosi Brian Nkomo (31) of Mpopoma Suburb, Mthokozisi Moyo (37) of Plumtree appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Marygold Ndlovu.

The pair is jointly charged with Nkosilathi Ncube (42) of Gwanda who is admitted to UBH after he sustained injuries while exchanging fire with the police.

The trio is being represented by Mr Bob Siansole of Dube, Mguni and Dube legal practitioners.

The investigating officer, Wellington Masuku applied for further detention of the accused persons saying that police needed more time to carry out investigations.

He told the court that a report that was obtained from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) showed that the guns recovered from the crime scene had been used to commit similar offences in and outside Bulawayo.

“Your Worship, we are requesting that we be granted permission to remand the accused persons by a further 48 hours while we carry out more investigations. The report that we obtained from the CID Ballistics showed that the guns recovered from the crime scene had been used to commit similar offences in and outside the city,” he said.

“We want them to assist us with indications and we also want to recover other outstanding firearms and to record witness statements.”

Mr Siansole did not object to the application for further remand.

“Your Worship, the defence is not opposed to the application on condition that by August 11 the State will be done with investigations,” he said.

Ms Ndlovu granted the application and ordered that the accused persons be back in court tomorrow for initial remand.