Prague shooting: 15 people Killed by university student


Prague shooting: 15 people Killed by university student

The passage describes a tragic incident that unfolded in Prague on a Thursday, where a student opened fire at a university, resulting in the devastating loss of at least 14 lives and leaving over 20 individuals injured. This incident is marked as the Czech Republic's worst mass shooting to date.

The horrifying event took place within the philosophy department building of Charles University, and the assailant, identified as a student, carried out the violence, as reported by Prague Police Chief Martin Vondrasek. Unfortunately, the gunman also lost his life, and his identity remains undisclosed.

Vondrasek provided updates throughout the evening, adjusting the toll to 14 fatalities and 25 injuries, after initially stating 15 deaths and 24 injuries without offering an explanation for the change. Authorities cautioned that the death toll could potentially rise.

Details about the victims and the motive behind the shooting at the building near the Vltava River in Jan Palach Square were not disclosed by the police. Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan stated that investigators did not suspect any connection to extremist ideologies or groups.

Vondrasek revealed that the police believe the gunman had killed his father earlier in the day in Hostoun, west of Prague, and had intentions of taking his own life. However, he did not provide further details. A subsequent search of the gunman's home implicated him in the killing of another man and his 2-month-old daughter on December 15 in Prague.

Despite being described as an excellent student with no criminal record, the gunman suffered "devastating injuries," and it remains unclear whether he took his own life or was shot in an exchange of gunfire with officers. Vondrasek emphasized that there is "nothing to suggest that he had an accomplice."

The shooter legally owned several guns, and his actions were characterized by Vondrasek as a "well-thought-out, horrible act." In response, university authorities pledged to enhance security in university buildings immediately.

Expressing profound grief, Charles University stated, "We mourn the loss of life of members of our university community, express our deepest condolences to all the bereaved, and our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragedy."

The shooting occurred in Jan Palach Square, a bustling tourist area in Prague's Old Town, near the popular Old Town Square and its Christmas market. Authorities, while evacuating the building, continued to search the area for explosives.

As the news spread, leaders from various countries, including Germany, France, Slovakia, the European Union, Israel, and the United States, extended condolences. The Czech government declared Saturday a national day of mourning to honor the shooting victims.

This tragic incident, described as a "horrible crime," is an unprecedented event in the Czech Republic, with the last comparable mass shooting occurring in 2015. Thursday's chaotic scene, normally filled with tourists and students, was replaced by the sound of sirens and the sight of police vehicles and ambulances, highlighting the abrupt shift from normalcy to chaos and terror.

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