- Staff and nurses at New Somerset Hospital in Cape Town are reeling following a deadly shooting that left two patients dead.
- Sea Point police had taken a 35-year-old suspect to the hospital for medical attention when another patient grabbed the police officer’s firearm and shot him through the head.
- Western Cape Premier Alan Winde visited the hospital as soon as he heard about the shooting.
A shooting at New Somerset Hospital in Cape Town, which has left two patients dead and one officer injured, has left nurses and staff reeling.
Staff have gone for counselling following the violent attack, the Western Cape health department said.
In a statement released on Saturday evening, the department said they 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,” the department said.
According to a police statement an officer from Sea Point police office had taken a 35-year-old suspect to New Somerset Hospital for medical attention when a man in the ward grabbed the firearm of a police officer 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,” police said in a statement.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde visited the hospital as soon as he received word about the shooting. Winde received a briefing from staff management.
“The shooter has been detained. The patients have been moved to another ward. It’s a very tragic happening and my condolences go out to the families,” he said.
Winde added the safety and wellbeing of staff and patients are their first priority.
“The nurses are already dealing with tragedy every single day and now they have to deal with this on top of everything. Its a terrible thing to happen,” he said.
Clinic manager Jacques Hendricks said: “The nurses are quite traumatised and we have already started with counselling at the hospital. They have done an amazing job when they evacuated the ward to ensure other patients are safe.”