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'Immense tragedy': Six people killed in shooting at Czech hospital

The suspect fled the scene but later shot and killed himself, police have confirmed.

LAST UPDATE | 10 Dec 2019

SIX PEOPLE HAVE been killed in a shooting at a hospital in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava.

The suspect fled the scene and a manhunt ensued. 

There were earlier reports that the man had been captured but police have now confirmed he shot and killed himself. 

“We have found the gunman. The 42-year-old man shot himself in the head before the police took action, he’s dead,” police said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis described the shooting as an “immense tragedy” in an interview on the Czech Television network.

Two people remain in a serious condition, with one undergoing surgery, hospital officials confirmed.

The gunman allegedly shot people at close range as they sat waiting in the trauma ward of the Faculty Hospital in Ostrava, a steel hub located around 300km east of Prague.

“I was told the dead were people sitting in the waiting room of the trauma ward, fortunately there were not as many as usual,” Babis told Czech Television.

“The gunman was allegedly shooting from a close range, aiming at the head and neck.”

The shooting took place at around 7am local time (6am Irish time). The university hospital was locked down after the incident.

‘A catastrophe’ 

Babis said the shooting was “a catastrophe” and “something we’re not used to in our country”.

President Milos Zeman also sent his condolences, stating: “I’m with you in my heart, I’m thinking of you in these tragic hours.”

Mass shootings are rare in Czechia, which has a population of about 10.7 million people.

In 2015 a restaurant guest in the southeastern town of Uhersky Brod shot seven men and a woman before killing himself.

In March of this year a patient at a Prague hospital shot two fellow patients, one of whom died.

Contains reporting from © AFP 2019  

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