A fatal shooting tragedy has claimed the lives of two patients inside the New Somerset Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Western Cape Government Health and Wellness confirmed the shooting on Saturday evening, which also resulted in a police official being seriously injured. (UPDATE: The police constable has sadly died following the Cape Town hospital shooting.)
The department said: “We are shocked and heartbroken following a fatal shooting tragedy that has claimed two lives inside the New Somerset Hospital. The immediate available facts are that a person, who was ready for discharge, obtained a firearm during an altercation with a police officer who was guarding another patient.
“Circumstances are unknown currently on how he managed to obtain a firearm but are currently being investigated.
“This incident has however resulted in the fatal injuring of two of our patients and the police officer being critically wounded.”
South African Police Service (SAPS) officials are on the scene, investigating the situation. They said that a 40-year-old man took the firearm of a police official and fired several shots.
In a statement on SAPS website, the Western Cape police said: “Reports from the scene indicate that Sea Point police had taken a 35-year-old suspect to Somerset hospital for medical attention when a man in the ward grabbed the firearm of a police official and shot him through the head. The man then shot two patients who were in his proximity. Both died on the scene and the 32-year-old police official was seriously injured.
“SAPS officials on the scene subsequently disarmed the suspect and arrested him.”
Premier Alan Winde visited the hospital on Saturday evening to get an update personally and to speak to hospital staff.
WC Government Health said: “Our most sincere condolences go to the families that have lost a relative during this horrific incident, while the necessary authorities are contacting them.
“This is a painful moment for us all, and we expect a full investigation to determine all the facts.”
SAPS said the patients are yet to be identified.