Czech shooting: Gunman kills 6, commits suicide

Czech shooting: Gunman kills 6, commits suicide
Police officers stand guard near the site of a shooting in front of a hospital in Ostrava (Lukas Kabon/Reuters)
PRAGUE, DEC 10 (AGENCIES/IANS) | Publish Date: 12/10/2019 12:26:11 PM IST

At least six people were killed after an armed assailant opened fire at a hospital waiting room in the Czech city of Ostrava before shooting himself in the head, police said on Tuesday.

The shooting took place at Ostrava University hospital on Tuesday morning, with police saying the victims were all patients, Xinhua reported.

“We have captured the shooting assailant. The 42-year old man had shot himself in the head before police took action. He is dead,” police said on Twitter.

The motive for the shooting remains unclear, police said.

Shooting incidents are rare in the Czech Republic. The last major attack took place in February 2015, when a man killed eight people in a restaurant in Uhersky Brod before turning the gun on himself.

That attack in the country’s east helped prompt efforts by populist politicians to challenge the EU’s efforts to place heavier restrictions on personal firearms. However, the European Court of Justice threw out the challenge earlier this month.

Czech journalist Teodor Marjanovic told Al Jazeera: “People are in shock, shootings happen very rarely in this country. There’s a huge police operation right now in the city.”

The shooting in Ostrava, a steel hub located about 300 kilometres (185 miles) east of Prague and 15km (nine miles) from the Polish border, was the worst shooting since the 2015 incident.

Hospital director Jiri Havrlant told a televised briefing that five victims died in the attack and one died in surgery. No medics were hurt, he said.


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