8 dead, plus gunman, in Czech restaurant shooting rampage

At least eight people killed in the shooting


A gunman opened fire in a restaurant in the Czech town of Uhersky Brod Tuesday, killing eight people and wounding one before fatally shooting himself.

It was the worst shooting attack in the country's history.

The gunman was a local man, said Patrik Kuncar, mayor of the southeastern town of Uhersky Brod. A waitress from the restaurant was hospitalized, he said.

A Fox News source reports that the shooter, 60, walked into the restaurant with two loaded guns and fired around 25 shots.

"It was not a terrorist attack," said Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, who arrived at the scene and later said the shooter had a license for a gun.

Kuncar said the suspect was acting alone and is believed to have been mentally unstable, Sky News reports.

The attack shocked the town of 17,000 that lies 185 miles southeast of Prague, the capital, and is home to the Ceska Zbrojovka gun plant.

"Nobody believed anything like that could happen in such a small town," Kuncar said. "I can hardly imagine what consequences it will have for the future life in this town."

The country's chief police officer, Tomas Tuhy, said authorities wouldn't reveal more information in the coming hours because of the ongoing investigation.

The waitress was shot in the chest and required surgery, said Dana Lipovska, spokesman for the hospital in the nearby town of Uherske Hradiste. Her condition remains "very serious," Lipovska said.

Czech public radio said the gunman called a local television station before the attack, complaining that police weren't solving his problems and threatening that he would "take things into his hands."

The Czech Republic has strict gun control laws, but hunting is popular in the eastern European nation.

"I am shocked by the tragic attack in Uhersky Brod," Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in a statement while on a trip to South Korea. He offered his condolences to the victims' relatives.

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

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a telegram expressing her condolences to the Czech prime minister.

"It is with great distress that I found out about the horrible attack in Uhersky Brod, which killed many people," the chancellor wrote.

"It fills me with deep sadness if people become victims of random violence. I'm convinced that the people of Uhersky Brod and of the entire Czech Republic will react with great solidarity to this tragic event."

Petr Gabriel was in the restaurant's bathroom when the shooting began.

"That saved my life," Gabriel told Czech public television. He spent two hours in the bathroom until he was found by police.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.