A man opened fire in the University Hospital of Ostrava, in the east of the Czech Republic on Tuesday morning, killing six people, before committing suicide.
Four people were killed on the spot and two others, injured, unfortunately died too,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babis on public television. “It’s a disaster, I absolutely do not understand the motive of this young man.”
Czech media reported that the attacker was wearing a red jacket and opened fire at one of the hospital’s ambulances.
Police initially broadcast the photo of another man they considered the alleged perpetrator of the shooting, later stating that the gunman had killed himself after fleeing the scene.
“We found the gunman. The 42-year-old shot himself in the head before the police took action. He’s dead,” police said. The “dangerous armed perpetrator” who was carrying a “short handgun” had fled the scene in a silver-grey Renault Laguna, police added.
The 42-year-old suspect later shot himself in the head in the vehicle before officers could bring him into custody, police said. “When the police arrived at the site of the car, the suspect was still alive. After around 30 minutes of resuscitation attempt, he died,” interior minister Hamáček said, adding that authorities are investigating the motive behind the shootings.
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic, located around 300 kilometers east of Prague near the borders of Poland and Slovakia.
The Ostrava attack was the second largest massacre in the Czech Republic’s post-war history. In 2015, eight people were killed in a shooting in Uhersky Brod.
President Milos Zeman sent a message of condolence to the families of the victims. “I am with you wholeheartedly, I think of you in this tragic hour,” he wrote, according to his spokesman.