A total of 15 people were wounded in the shooting spree in the Bratislava borough of Devínska Nová Ves on Monday, August 30, Slovakia’s Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik told a press conference, the TASR newswire reported.
Thirteen people were rushed to hospitals in various parts of the capital, with another two receiving medical attention on the spot. The gunman, around age 50, killed seven people and injured another 15 people before turning the gun on himself.
“One patient is in critical condition, three more are in serious condition, while the remaining nine are stabilised,” Uhliarik said. Martin Balko, the chief doctor from the Operational Centre of Slovakia's Emergency Medical Service, added that the first phone call about the incident was received at 9:45, with the first ambulance arriving at the scene five minutes later.
“We completed the entire action at 12:05 p.m. after we verified that the assailant had been rendered harmless and that there were no more injured persons at the scene,” said Balko. A total of 10 ambulances with 25 medical staff were present to provide assistance to the injured.
The eighth victim was found later in the day in her apartment by her husband. She apparently had gone to her balcony during the commotion and was shot there.
The shooting spree has no precedent in Slovak history, Jaroslav Ivor, the former head of Slovak investigation authorities, told the TASR newswire. However, Ivor compared it in scale to a massacre that occurred in Dunajská Streda in March 1999 when gang boss Tibor Pápay and nine companions were gunned down in a restaurant.
“What matters now is to find out about the assailant’s motives – whether it was a mental disorder, family disputes or a criminal act of an organised crime nature,” Ivor said, adding that similar cases have become more common worldwide in the past few years and it might be worthwhile to draw up an analysis about the motives of such acts.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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31. Aug 2010 at 10:00