Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo will visit New Somerset Hospital on Sunday morning following an incident during which a police officer was shot in the head with his own gun, and two hospital patients killed, allegedly by a patient ready to be discharged. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Police are investigating after a 40-year-old man being discharged from New Somerset Hospital in Cape Town, took the firearm from a police officer, and fired several shots, killing two people and shooting the police officer in the head.
The incident took place on Saturday evening.
Police said a 35-year-old suspect had been taken to the hospital for medical attention when the escorting officer had his gun taken from him.
“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,” SAPS said in a statement.
“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.
“The identities of the victims of the shooting incident are yet to be determined,” police said.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde visited the hospital later on Saturday night, with provincial Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo expected to visit the hospital on Sunday morning.
“We are shocked and heartbroken following a fatal shooting tragedy that has claimed two lives inside New Somerset Hospital,” a statement from Western Cape Government Health and Wellness read, that Mbombo posted to her Facebook page.
“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,” the statement continued.
“The perpetrator has been contained and the situation is now under control.“
Mbombo said the department would keep the public informed of developments.
“Our most sincere condolences go to the families that have lost a relative during this horrific incident,” the statement Mbombo posted read.
“This is a painful moment for us all, and we expect a full investigation to determine all the facts.”