Czech town in shock following mass shooting
The inhabitants of the Moravian town of Uherský Brod are picking up the pieces today following a mass shooting on Tuesday, which left nine people dead. Reports suggest a disturbed 62-year-old man with a grudge against the authorities decided to randomly slaughter innocent customers in a local restaurant.
Czech Police President Tomáš Tuhý said that given the sheer number of casualties, the investigation into the case would take some time. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (ČSSD) said that he was sure the police did all they could:
A waitress is also reported to have been injured during the incident, while another witnesses described escaping the carnage by hiding in the toilet. Police did not immediately release the names of the victims, saying they wanted to first confirm their identities and inform loved ones. However, on Wednesday morning, the gunman was identified by the abbreviated “Zdeněk K.”
Uherský Brod mayor Patrik Kunčar described the town’s sense of horror following the shooting:
A picture has now begun to emerge of the gunman as a highly disturbed individual. The assailant reportedly placed a call to a crime hotline operated by television station Prima minutes before entering the Družba restaurant. Pavel Lebduška, a reporter for Prima Television, described his conversation:
“He simply told us to bring a camera crew to Uherský Brod. I asked him why. At first, he did not want to explain why. But in the end, he revealed that he was experiencing major problems with many people; that many people were injuring him; and because the authorities would not help him, he had but one possible solution. He explained that he had a gun, and was now going to deal with the matter in his own way.”
Shortly after 10 pm on Tuesday, a police unit stormed the address of the alleged assailant. The man’s wife is understood to have refused them admittance until her husband returned home.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and President Miloš Zeman have both expressed their sense of shock at the tragedy.