A fresh mindless heist occurred in Durban, with the disguised robbers causing gridlock and unprovoked fear, with gunshots raining in the air. A manhunt is under way for a gang of robbers who held up a grocery wholesaler in Hunslet Road, Phoenix Industrial Park, on Thursday morning.

The robbers fired several shots while fleeing the scene, and it is thought that a pedestrian was struck on the face by a bullet.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said eight men held up guards and staff at the grocery store. They fled the scene in a bakkie.

Prem Balram, spokesperson for private security company Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa), said his guards came under fire when they responded to the panic alarm at the store.

Balram said the gang held up staff and robbed the cash office and till points.

They also disarmed a security guard.

“Several patrons and employees were assaulted by the suspects. The heavily armed men opened fire at the Rusa staff with handguns and high-calibre rifles before fleeing the scene in a silver Opel Corsa bakkie,” he said.

Video footage of the robbery shows two men standing at the gate acting as lookouts.

Six men emerge from the business, fire shots and then get into the back of the bakkie, while the other two get into the front.

Security guards pursued the gang towards Duffs Road near Avoca Hills.

The officers lost the gang’s vehicle at KwaMashu men’s hostel, where a search had been under way.