Slovakian PM shooting: How the attempted assassination of Robert Fico unfolded

After the suspect fired five shots at Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico, plainclothes officers quickly tackled the shooter to the ground

Tom Watling
Thursday 16 May 2024 13:46
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Slovakia PM assassination attempt: Doctors say Robert fico's life is in danger

The Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico was shot five times at point-blank range on Wednesday afternoon.

Hospital officials have confirmed his condition is “very serious” but stable after the politician was airlifted to FD Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica, 25 miles from the site of the shooting in the town of Handlova.

The official added two surgical teams in the hospital had spent five hours treating the multiple gunshot wounds.

Local reports say the suspect has now been charged with attempted murder and could face from 25 years to life imprisonment.

Here The Independent looks at how the event unfolded.

The prime minister had been in Handlova to attend a government meeting at the local cultural centre.

Read our live blog with all the latest updates here

Security officers drag the Slovak PM into his official car after the assassination attempt in Handlova (Reuters)
The suspected shooter is seen being pinned to the ground as Mr Fico is rushed off to hospital (Reuters)

News footage later showed him striding into the town centre with his entourage towards members of the public who had gathered to greet him.

Waist-high metal fences had been erected between Mr Fico and the town residents.

When the Slovakian leader arrived at the fence and began to shake the hands of the locals, a man waiting in line suddenly withdrew a pistol.

Holding his hand above the fence, he then quickly fired five shots at Mr Fico’s chest, who recoiled from the impact of the bullets before falling forwards in the direction of the shooter.

Mr Fico’s security detail, clad in black suits and sunglasses, quickly attacked the suspect, pushing the fence towards the culprit and tackling him to the floor.

Mr Fico is seen being transported from a helicopter by medics and his security detail to the hospital in Banska Bystrica (AFP via Getty Images)

Another member of Mr Fico’s guards could be seen nearby reaching behind him to withdraw his own firearm.

Resident of Handlova standing next to the assailant, who was wrapping a light purple shirt and jeans, quickly got out of the way as Mr Fico’s security team then rushed to apprehend the suspect.

He was pinned to the ground while the Slovakian leader was put into the back of a black Audi and carted away.

Images showed half a dozen plainclothes officers surrounding Mr Fico’s car as the suspect can be seen in the background, behind the fence, being pinned to the ground.

Two men of Mr Fico’s security detail stand between the car and the suspect. A woman in the distance holds her hand to her mouth in shock.

A red emergency helicopter later picked up Mr Fico and transferred him to the hospital in Banska Bystrica.

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