Six dead in Czech Republic's first mass shooting since 2015

A "silent shooter" killed six people and injured three at the Ostrava teaching hospital this morning


Written by ČTK Published on 10.12.2019 16:10:59 (updated on 10.12.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes

Ostrava, North Moravia, Dec 10 (CTK) – A “silent shooter” killed six people in the Ostrava teaching hospital this morning, hospital director Jiri Havrlant has told journalists.

Without any warning, he opened fire in the waiting room of the trauma center between 7:00 and 7:30, Havrlant said, adding that all the victims were patients, no medical staff.

Moravia-Silesia police chief Tomas Kuzel said three persons were injured, updating the previous number. Two of them were injured seriously, one lightly.

The director of the Moravia-Silesia Emergency service, Roman Gregor, said one of the seriously injured was in a critical condition.

“The police say a silent shooter was in the waiting room,” he added.

The attacker suddenly got up and starting shooting at the people. He hit their heads and chests. There are four men and two women among the dead, Havrlant said.

All the visitors to the hospital were evacuated. Now the hospital is closed, he added.

The shooting occurred at the trauma center.

An emergency committee of the Ostrava town has met. Interior Minister Jan Hamacek is flying to the place.

Due to the shooting, the neighbouring VSB-Technical University Ostrava was closed. The school has closed its entries and informed the staff and students about the incident by radio.

The police are now working on the identification of the victims and the attacker’s motive.

The shooting only took a few seconds. “He just came and did his work,” Kuzel said, adding that the shooter had no accomplice.

After the incident, the man fled from the hospital.”The perpetrator left the hospital at the time of the police arrival,” Kuzel said.

The police caught the attacker in Dehylov, north Moravia, within a raid with several hundred police officers and two helicopters.

“Perhaps when the man could see a police helicopters above him, he used the gun against himself,” Kuzel said.

The attacker was not the holder of a legal arm and had a criminal record. “He had three records for violent crime and property delicts,” he added.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said the perpetrator had attempted to commit suicide. He did not die instantly as he only succumbed to his injuries after a 30-minute resuscitation.

Hamacek appreciated the work of the police who did an excellent job. They were within three minutes on the scene of the tragedy and caught the shooter in three hours, he added.

President Milos Zeman expressed condolences to the families of the six victims of a mass shooting in the Ostrava Teaching Hospital, north Moravia, today, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has tweeted.

Zeman thanked the members of security forces, doctors and all those helping, Ovcacek said.

“Zeman is expressing sincere condolences to the families. ‘I am with you in my heart. I am thinking of you in these tragic hours,'” Ovcacek quoted Zeman as saying.

Ovcacek said later Zeman was in contact with Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) over the incident.

Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini expressed condolences to his Czech counterpart Andrej Babis over the shooting incident.

Slovakia feels with the bereaved families, wishing early recovery to the injured people, Pellegrini said.

“For all of us, this tragedy is a memento, saying that security affairs are crucial for day-to-day life. We must do our utmost to protect people as much as possible,” Pellegrini said.

“It is hard to find any words. Sincere condolences to all the families of the victims,” Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek (CSSD) said.

“My mind is with the staff and patients of the Ostrava Teaching Hospital. Exactly a month ago, I had the opportunity to visit the centre full of professionals. Such a tragedy must never repeat in this country,” Finance Minister Alena Schillerova (for ANO) said.

Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD), who originates from Ostrava, wrote he was shocked by the events, a brutal attack with a number of victims.

Opposition leaders, too, condemned the attack and expressed condolences to the victims’ families.

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