A white businessman was killed during an attempted robbery at his Hillbrow business on Wednesday, Gauteng police said.

Two men entered the shop in Kotze Street at 11:00 and claimed to want to pay a lay-by before holding an employee at gunpoint, Captain Kay Makhubela said.

A second worker then pulled out a firearm and fired at the suspects. As they ran out of the store, they shot the owner at the entrance.

Employees took the man to hospital, where he was declared dead. The would-be robbers were still at large.

Police were investigating murder and attempted business robbery charges.