Hostage-taker was ‘bipolar’ – reports

2012-04-27 13:00

Johannesburg – A gunman who was shot after taking a woman hostage at Westville Hospital in Durban may have been suffering from bipolar disorder.

The man had held one woman hostage for almost four hours before she was rescued, said KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker.

She had sustained a gunshot wound.

Initial police reports were that he had taken two hostages but police later found the second woman safe in the hospital.

“After negotiating .... the guy was [still] not responding,” said Naicker.

He had been holding his hostage in the hospital’s kitchen. Police entered and shot him dead. It was believed the man may have been suffering from a bipolar disorder.

“At approximately 07:40, the suspect demanded to see a doctor or nurse and became impatient and began firing shots randomly,” Naicker said.

Three injured
Hospital staff, patients, and visitors panicked and ran in different directions for cover.
Three people were injured.

The hospital said among those injured were a nurse who was struck by a ricocheted shell, a security guard who was shot in the leg, and a member of the catering staff who sustained wounds to her leg and shoulder.

They were receiving treatment and were in a stable condition.

Hospital spokesperson Leanne Nyiri said the gunman earlier took a receptionist hostage. She was taken to the hospital’s first floor but managed to escape.

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