Residents in Czech town honor 8 killed in shooting

AP News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2015 6:07 AM
Residents in Czech town honor 8 killed in shooting

PRAGUE (AP) — Hundreds of residents of a small town in southeastern Czech Republic gathered Wednesday to honor the victims of the worst shooting attack in the country's history.

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.

Following surgery, the 37-year-old woman, who was shot in the chest, wasn't in life-threatening condition, said Dana Lipovska, spokesman for the hospital in nearby Uherske Hradiste.

Police identified the gunman as a 63-year-old local man who had no criminal record and had a gun license.

A motive hasn't yet been determined, but authorities ruled out terrorism.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec suggested after the shooting that the number people in the country who legally own weapons might be too high.

But Jiri Hynek, head of the Defense and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic, said it's difficult to get a license and any future gun holder has to undergo strict procedures, including a medical exam.

"If we have such strict conditions for getting a driving license, we would have no traffic jams in Prague because half of the drivers wouldn't get a driving license," Hynek told Czech public television.

In the nation of 10 million, gun license holders have about 761,000 legal guns, according to Interior Ministry figures.

The gunman had two legal weapons, authorities said.