Izola hospital shooting claims three lives
According to Police Commissioner Marjan Fank, the shooter was from a nearby village and had already served time for an armed robbery of a local post office in the past.
The shooting took place at around 3 PM, as the attacker, who reportedly went about on crutches, was in hospital for an eye examination.
After his appointment, he reportedly started a fight on the hallway while holding a gun behind his back. The man started shooting as one of the hospital's urologists passed him by.
According to the police commissioner, the shooter came to the hospital with the intention of killing this specific doctor, who later died due to severe injuries.
Eye witnesses claim that he had been inquiring about him and even held a list with doctors' names in his hands, web portal MMC RTVS reported.
The 70-year-old shot the doctor in the chest and then in the back before firing multiple shots in the hospital's hallway.
A 43-year-old police officer in a uniform who happened to be at the hospital moved to stop the shooter with his gun but suffered a close-up shot in the chest, which proved fatal, Fank said.
According to eyewitnesses, the attacker then left the hospital, sat on the bench outside for a while and then tried to leave in his car, but the police moved to stop him and the 70-year-old died in the shooting after injuring another policeman.
The police are still investigating whether the 70-year-old was shot by the officers or he committed suicide.
The second police officer was flown to Ljubljana by helicopter and his condition is said to be stable.
In her response to the tragedy, Interior Minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar again highlighted the dangerous work of policemen. She added that "suitable equipment and undisturbed work of the police" were the priorities of her term.
The Police Force said on Twitter police officers would not accept such events as "professional risk" and expressed condolences to the victims' relatives.
Prime Minister Miro Cerar too responded by tweeting that his "thoughts are with the relatives of the victims of the shooting" and expressing hope that doctors will save the lives of the police officer and doctor who were still fighting for their lives at the time.
Speaker Milan Brglez called for the protection of those performing such dangerous tasks to the benefit of all citizens as police officers and said he would do everything in his power to prevent such tragedies in the future.
The two police trade unions, SPS and PSS, too underlined the risks police officers were subject to and expressed condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased. They also called for implementing changes to the legislation that would boost the safety of police officers.
Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc said her ministry "will do everything in its power to prevent such tragic events in the future" and that her ministry and managements of healthcare institutions would work to increase the security of patients and employees.
Head of the FIDES trade union of doctors and dentists Konrad Kuštrin meanwhile noted that the number of attacks on healthcare employees was on the rise, suggesting they were a sign of people's dissatisfaction with the healthcare system, wrongly targeted at the medical staff.