At least eight people have been killed and several wounded, including a woman in critical condition, when a gunman opened fire at a restaurant in the Czech Republic. The shooter then turned the gun on himself, bringing the death toll up to at least nine.
According to the Guardian, Patrik Kunčar, mayor of Uherský Brod, confirmed that the gunman, “a local man aged about 60, was among the dead.”
A report made by the Independent reveals that the shooting seems to have taken place at lunchtime in the Druzhba restaurant in Uherský Brod, which is a town 180 miles southeast of Prague. At the time of the shooting, there were at least 20 people inside the restaurant, which is located in a residential area.
The Czech Republic’s Interior Minister, Milan Chovanec, is flying to the scene at this time and will give a press conference to release more information. The time for the news conference has not yet been confirmed.
The restaurant owner revealed what happened in the moment of the attack to the Telegraph.
“An unknown person came in, took out a short weapon and started firing on people. I, along with the other guests, who later called the police, immediately fled out the back exit. At first we thought it was a pistol until we saw an injured woman running out, and then it was clear.”
One witness survived by hiding in the toilet, while others managed to flee through the kitchen. It is yet to be confirmed, but witnesses believe the gunman had two weapons, including a shotgun per the Telegraph.
While authorities do not believe this was a terrorist-related attack, they have stated, along with Mayor Kuncar, that the gunman fired approximately 25 rounds. One eyewitness revealed to the Telegraph that he had “seen around 10 police cars arrive and police putting on bulletproof vests.”
Both the Mayor Kuncar and Interior Minister Chovanec are assuring the residents that they believe this was an isolated incident by a man who suffered from mental health issues. Chovanec goes a step further by calling the actions of the gunman, who was also a town resident, the behavior of a “crazed individual,” as per the Telegraph.
Novinky reports that prior to the shooting, the gunman called TV Prima, the local station’s crime line, and told a journalist (who has since posted the quote on Twitter), “They’re bullying me. I’m going to take care of this myself.”
While the The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has said he is shocked by the attack, Mayor Kuncar is equally appalled as he states to the Telegraph.
“I’m rattled by this event. I never would have imagined something like this happening here, in a restaurant that I know well.”
[Photo Credit: Telegraph]