CT hospital shooting suspect had no prior history of psychological issues - dept

Two patients and a police officer were killed in the incident on Saturday night by another patient.

FILE:  Somerset Hospital in Cape Town. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Health Department is puzzled over a deadly shooting at New Somerset Hospital.

Two patients and a police officer were killed in the incident on Saturday night.

"One of our nursing staff managed to almost talk him down, in fact, and give up his gun. We had to sedate him because he was extremely violent. They shackled him again," the department's Saadiq Kariem said.

He said that there was no indication that the suspect, a fellow patient, had any psychological issues.

"There was no history of prior mental illness. In fact, he had been discharged to go back home. The police are investigating it further to understand what his own circumstances were that could have led to the shooting and what the motive was," Kariem said.

The constable was guarding another patient when he tried to intervene and was wounded.

He died the following day from his injuries.

Kariem said that security had been tightened.

"We are geared for any and every emergency here in terms of our emergency units. This shooting was an absolutely tragic incident but we couldn't have prevented something like this at all. It's still safe to use our facilities, we've obviously beefed up security as well," Kariem said.