The man who is now in police custody, is suspected to have wanted to use the teargas on the till operator so he could escape with cash but misfired, causing a commotion among shoppers who were scurrying for cover.
The incident happened soon after lunch on Monday at Edmag Enteprises retail shop within the town’s central business centre.
The man had been standing in a queue as a prospective buyer before he decided to fire the teargas.
An eye witness, Joyce Maitise, from Mhangura described the incident as a ‘near death’ as shoppers crammed in a small place as they tried to escape from the tear smoke.
The man was however, unlucky as the mob turned against him assaulting him before he was rescued by police who arrested him.
A shop assistant said:”We suspect he wanted to direct the teargas to the till operator so that he could get away with cash…”
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabweazara confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
Shoppers said they did not understand how the man who is believed to be a former police man managed to have the teargas in his possession.