The gunman who on Monday, August 30, shot seven people dead in the Bratislava borough of Devínska Nová Ves, including five members of one Roma family in their own home, has been identified as 48-year-old Ľubomír Harman, Slovak Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic said at a press conference in Bratislava on Tuesday.
According to Lipšic, an autopsy on Harman showed that before killing himself he was shot in the left side of his chest by a police officer. “Subsequently, probably in order to put himself out of his misery, he shot himself in the head with his assault rifle,” Lipšic said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that the chest wound would have been fatal.
The massacre will lead to legislative changes. Lipšic said that the Interior Ministry will prepare a legal amendment according to which automatic rifles will be prohibited even for sports-related purposes. He also said that the conditions for holding guns will be made stricter and that psychological tests for owners will have to be repeated every five years. “It’s not fair to have working weapons in the hands of those who represent a threat to normal people,” said Lipšic. He added that as of September 1, 2010, all police units on duty will have an automatic weapon (a Czech Škorpion 61) at their disposal.
The killer was not, as had been reported earlier by some media, a former professional soldier. Harman had served two years basic military service, between 1981 and 1983, the SITA newswire wrote. He had been unemployed since August 1, 2008. He was a member of the Club of Reservist Soldiers. “He participated in shooting contests and meetings,” reported Police President Jaroslav Spišiak. According to the club’s chairman, he never complained about any problems with neighbours and was not aggressive. Spišiak added that the gunman did not communicate with his neighbours much. Six victims who were the primary targets of the shooting rampage were a Roma family that lived next door to the gunman. They included a mother, two daughters, a 12-year-old boy, a male friend of one of the daughters, and the husband of the other daughter.
Source: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
1. Sep 2010 at 10:00