Gunman Kills Six People In Czech Hospital Attack Before Taking His Own Life

Hospital staff have warned the number of casualties could still rise.

A 42-year-old gunman killed six people on Tuesday morning at a hospital waiting room in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava before fleeing and fatally shooting himself in the head.

It was the worst shooting in the Czech Republic, where gun crime is relatively rare, since a man shot eight people dead and then killed himself at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod in 2015.

It was unclear what motivated the shooting, which happened in the early morning at the outpatient clinic of the University Hospital in Ostrava, 350km (217 miles) east of the capital Prague and near the border with Poland.

Police officers are seen near the site of the shooting
Police officers are seen near the site of the shooting
David W Cerny / Reuters

Prime minister Andrej Babis told reporters it was an “individual act”.

The shooter fled the hospital after the attack, prompting a manhunt involving hundreds of officers. He later shot himself in the head at his car with a police helicopter flying overhead.

He died about a half an hour later after police failed to resuscitate him, interior minister Jan Hamacek said outside the hospital. “The perpetrator of this horrendous act is dead.”

Czech Radio, citing the director of the firm where he worked, identified the suspect as a local construction technician and said he had been on medical leave.

Police said they received calls at 7.19am (0619 GMT) and officers were on the scene five minutes later.

Hospital director Jiri Havrlant told reporters five people died in the attack and one died in surgery. Another two were seriously injured but no medics were hurt, he said.

Victims had been shot at close range, he said. They were all adults: four men and two women.

The head of the regional police department, Tomas Kuzel, said the attacker was silent as he carried out the shooting and there was no indication of accomplices.

Police dispatched two helicopters to hunt him. “When the helicopter was over the car, the perpetrator shot himself in the head,” Kuzel said. “He died from self-inflicted wounds.”