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Mass shooting at downtown Prague university leaves at least 14 dead

A tragic event unfolded at Charles University in Prague as a student opened fire in the philosophy department, claiming at least 14 lives and injuring over 20.

This stands as the Czech Republic’s most tragic mass shooting.



PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC: The Charles University in Prague was struck by a harrowing incident when a student unleashed gunfire in the philosophy department building, resulting in a devastating loss of lives.

The attacker, identified as a 24-year-old student David Kozak, took the lives of at least 14 people, according to officials, and left more than 20 individuals wounded in what stands as the Czech Republic’s most tragic mass shooting to date.

Prague Police Chief Martin Vondrasek confirmed the assailant was later neutralized.

The incident started at about 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Thursday. Police have yet to release details about the victims, and the motive behind the shooting remains unknown.

Videos surfaced on social media platforms, including X (previously known as Twitter), showing terrifying scenes of crowds fleeing the area in sheer panic. Some footage captured students seeking shelter on a ledge during the chaos.

The gunman killed his father in his hometown earlier

Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan has asserted that investigators do not suspect any connection to extremist ideologies or groups.

However, Vondrasek disclosed a troubling detail to the Czech media, suggesting that Kozak may have earlier killed his father in Hostoun, just west of Prague, on the same day.

The police chief also indicated that the assailant had intentions of taking his own life, though specific details were not provided.

The shooter, described by Vondrasek as an excellent student with no criminal record, met a tragic end himself, suffering “devastating injuries.”

It remains unclear whether he took his own life or was shot by law enforcement officers in an exchange of gunfire. Vondrasek emphasized that there is “nothing to suggest that he had an accomplice.”

Further unsettling details emerged about the gunman legally owning several firearms, leading authorities to label the act as “well thought out” and a “horrible act.”

The university, in a statement, expressed mourning for the loss of life within its community and extended condolences to the bereaved, vowing to tighten security in university buildings immediately.

“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,” Charles University said in a statement.

The shooting occurred in a bustling tourist area, adding to the chaos and horror of the situation. Jan Palach Square, near the picturesque Old Town Square, is frequented by tourists, students, and locals.

Pavel Nedoma, the director of the nearby Rudolfinum Gallery, witnessed the events unfold, describing a person firing a gun from a balcony.

Government officials swiftly addressed concerns about international terrorism, stating that there was no indication of foreign involvement.

Interior Minister Rakusan labeled it a “horrible crime” and emphasized that such an incident is unprecedented in the Czech Republic.

As the nation grapples with the aftermath, President Petr Pavel expressed shock and offered condolences to the victims’ families. Leaders from Germany, France, Slovakia, the European Union, and Israel also conveyed their sympathies.

Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the area for potential explosives, and an emergency government session is planned to address the tragic incident.

This unfortunate event marks the worst mass shooting in the Czech Republic since 2015 when a gunman killed eight people in the town of Uhersky Brod before taking his own life.

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