Police have launched a massive hunt for the five- man gang after they escaped with an undisclosed sum in yesterday’s daring mid- morning heist.
The brutal attack has rocked the normally quiet seaside resort as word rapidly spread of the murder.
Although police would not release his name yesterday – until his next of kin have been contacted – shocked locals said the popular shop manager’s wife was pregnant with their third child.
Staff who worked with the murdered man had to receive trauma counselling yesterday to try and help them cope with the killing.
Horrified locals stood around Main Street waiting to hear if the suspects had been arrested, but by late yesterday the gang had disappeared into thin air.
Police spokesman Captain Mali Govender said last night they were still unsure of the direction in which the gang had escaped.
She said “several shots” were fired by one of the gangsters after the manager – who was walking with two relatives – struggled with the armed man and an accomplice
Although the men escaped in a white Nissan sedan parked in a street behind Standard Bank, Govender confirmed police were also searching for a blue Toyota Corolla and a silver-grey Isuzu double cab that were parked outside the Main Street bank.
A traumatised Kenton-on-Sea artist, who was near the Standard Bank branch “running errands” yesterday, said she heard three shots and screams before she noticed the shop manager “lying on the pavement right outside the bank”.
She said people were crying in the streets after the attack and that children at a nearby primary school had been locked in their classes out of fear that the gang had fled through the school grounds.
“Everybody is shocked and freaked out,” the artist said. “It was surreal.
“I was on the pavement when I heard shots, screams and saw people running.”
The woman said the popular shop manager had a pregnant wife and two young children.
Local tourism head Erica McNulty said the murder was “absolutely awful” and “very tragic”.
“People were going about their Monday business when it happened right in the middle of town,” McNulty said. “The whole place is gobsmacked.” – Daily Dispatch