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AFP
December 11, 2019

Gunman shoots dead six patients, himself at Czech hospital

Top Story

AFP
December 11, 2019

PRAGUE: A gunman killed himself Tuesday after shooting dead six patients at a hospital in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, in what the premier has called "an immense tragedy".

The attacker gunned down people at close range at the trauma ward of the Faculty Hospital in Ostrava, a steel hub located some 300 kilometres (190 miles) east of Prague. Four men and two women died during the assault, which lasted only a few seconds according to police. Two other people were seriously wounded while a third person sustained light injuries.

Police said they had not yet determined what drove the 42-year-old to launch the attack. "I was told the dead victims were people sitting in the waiting room of the trauma ward, fortunately there were not as many as usual," Prime Minister Andrej Babis told local media. "The gunman was allegedly shooting from a close range, aiming at the head and neck."

The shooter then fled the scene in a silver Renault Laguna car, sparking a dramatic police hunt with hundreds of officers and two helicopters chasing him.

The man turned the gun on himself inside the vehicle as police were about to capture him in a village just northwest of Ostrava, regional police chief Tomas Kuzel said. "We identified the gunman using hospital cameras. We deployed two helicopters, identified his car... and when one helicopter descended over the car, he shot himself in the head," Kuzel told reporters.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said the man died despite resuscitation efforts. Police said the gunman had used a "short firearm" in the attack, which took place shortly after 0600 GMT. "As far as we know, the man is not in our database of legal gun owners," Kuzel said, adding there was no indication that he had an accomplice.

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