Friday 15 December 2017

Gunman 'took out weapon and start shooting at people' - Czech restaurant owner speaks about shooting tragedy

A police officer patrols near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police did not immediately release any details. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
A police officer patrols near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police did not immediately release any details. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
A police officer controls traffic near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Uhersky Brod, east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck) ** SLOVAKIA OUT **
Police officers patrol near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police did not immediately release any details. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The owner of the Czech restaurant at the centre of a shooting incident in which eight people have been killed has spoken to a local website about the tragedy.

"An unknown person came in, took out a short weapon and started firing on people," the owner of the restaurant 'Friendship' told news website idnes.cz.

Police officers patrol near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police did not immediately release any details. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
Police officers patrol near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police did not immediately release any details. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
A police officer patrols near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Uhersky Brod REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: CRIME LAW)

"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."

A police spokesman has confirmed there was shooting in the town of Uhersky Brod, 300 km (180 miles) southeast of Prague, but declined to comment on any victims.

Reuters news agency has quoted Interior Minister Milan Chovanec as saying he had been informed about eight victims.

A police officer patrols near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police did not immediately release any details. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
A police officer patrols near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire injuring at least one person in Uhersky Brod, in the east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Police did not immediately release any details. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
Police stand near the site of a shooting in the eastern Czech town of Uhersky Brod REUTERS/Stringer (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: CRIME LAW)

Patrik Kuncar, mayor of the south eastern town of Uherske Brod, said the gunman, aged around 60, was among the dead.

"Nobody believed that anything like that could happen in such a small town," said Mr Kuncar, AP are reporting.

"I can hardly imagine what consequences it will have for the future life in this town."

Czech media has reported that the gunman called a local TV station and that the journalist who spoke to the gunman called the police.

A police officer controls traffic near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Uhersky Brod, east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
A police officer controls traffic near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Uhersky Brod, east of the Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/CKT, Dalibor Gluck)
A police officer cordons a site near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Uhersky Brod REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: CRIME LAW)

There are unconfirmed suggestions that the shooter, who reportedly owned a gun licence, turned the gun on himself.

A witness told Reuters that he had seen around 10 police cars arrive and police putting on bulletproof vests.

Mr Kuncar said around 25 shots could be heard from the scene and some 20 people were inside the premises at the time.

It's being reported some several people have also been wounded, including a woman who is in a critical condition in hospital nearby town of Uherske Hradiste.

A police vehicle is seen near the site of a shooting in the eastern Czech town of Uhersky Brod REUTERS/Stringer (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: CRIME LAW)
A police vehicle is seen near the site of a shooting in the eastern Czech town of Uhersky Brod REUTERS/Stringer (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: CRIME LAW)
Patrik Kuncar (L), mayor of Uhersky Brod, speaks with a citizen near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Uhersky Brod REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: CRIME LAW)

"I'm rattled by this event. I never would have imagined something like this happening here, in a restaurant that I know well," Mr Kuncar told state television Ceska Televize (CT).

Mr Chovanec has tweeted that he is on his way to the scene. He said the shooting was not "terror-related" but an act of a "crazed individual".

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in a statement: "I am shocked by the tragic attack that happened today in Uhersky Brod. I would like to express my deepest sorrow and condolences to the families and relatives of the victims."

The Czech Republic became an independent nation in 1993 after the split of Czechoslovakia.

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