Residents in Czech town honor eight killed in shooting | News | DW | 25.02.2015
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Residents in Czech town honor eight killed in shooting

In the Czech Republic, hundreds have mourned the victims of a shooting. On Tuesday, a 62-year-old gunman murdered eight people at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod before killing himself, police said.

Hundreds gathered Wednesday in a small town in the southeast of the Czech Republic to honor the victims of the country's deadliest ever shooting attack. Braving rain, they lit candles in front of the Druzba, or "Friendship," restaurant in Uhersky Brod a day after a gunman opened fire during lunchtime, killing eight and seriously wounding a woman before he fatally shot himself.

"This has hit me really hard," Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told the public broadcaster Czech Television Wednesday on a visit to South Korea. The premier said the incident should prompt reflection on how to prevent similar tragedies in the future, adding that firearms should not fall into the hands of the mentally ill.

Police identified the gunman as a 62-year-old local who had no criminal record and had a license for his weapon. Though authorities have not yet announced a motive, they have ruled out terrorism, saying that the gunman, who had two legal weapons, appeared under "great psychological pressure."

Following surgery, a 37-year-old woman shot in the chest appeared headed for recovery, said Dana Lipovska, spokeswoman for the hospital in nearby Uherske Hradiste. Also on Wednesday, Uhersky Brod's local council agreed at a special session to provide financial assistance for the families of the bereaved, Mayor Patrik Kuncar said.

After the shooting, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec suggested that too many people in the country might own weapons. In the nation of 10 million people, license holders have about 761,000 legal guns, according to Interior Ministry figures.

mkg/msh (dpa, AP)