At least 15 dead in Prague university shooting: Police

Fri, 22 Dec 2023 7:55 GMT
Police suspect link between shooter, deaths of 2 victims last week in Klanovicky forest near Prague.
At least 15 dead in Prague university shooting: Police

At least 15 people were killed and 24 injured Thursday in a shooting at a university in the Czech Republic’s capital of Prague.

Police President Martin Vondrasek said that the gunman was a 24-year-old student at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University. The shooter was living in a village, 21 kilometers (13 miles) outside Prague, and his father was found dead earlier Thursday, said Vondrasek.

Citing initial findings, the police chief said that the suspect was inspired by similar incidents that have taken place abroad, and he was not connected to any terrorist organization. The gunman's "lifeless body" was found at the university's Faculty of Arts, Vondrasek said, adding that he committed suicide after an exchange of fire with police.

"We haven't even begun to identify those who were shot, because first the area must be safe," he said.

According to police, there is no indication that the shooter had accomplices, adding that a foreign national is among the victims.

Czech President Petr Pavel expressed shock about the shooting and offered condolences to the families of the victims.

"I would like to express my deep regret and sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the victims that the shooting claimed. I want to thank the citizens for respecting the instructions of the security forces and providing maximum cooperation," he wrote on X.  

Prague shooter linked to two murders last week

At a news conference with Interior Minister Vit Rakusa and police, officials said law enforcement suspected that there was a link between the shooter and the deaths of two victims last week in the Klanovicky forest near Prague.

Officials said the shooter has no criminal history and he chose his victims at random.

Rakusa said a large number of weapons were found at the university building.

In videos circulated on social media, gunshots can be heard and a large police presence can be seen.


French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on X: “There was great emotion when we learned that Charles University in Prague had been the target of a deadly shooting. I express my solidarity with the victims, the injured and their relatives, as well as with the Czech people and authorities.”

"Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims and our condolences go out to our Czech friends," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed her "deepest condolences" to the families of the victims.

"We reiterate our strongest condemnation of all forms of violence, fanaticism and terrorism," she wrote on X.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: "On behalf of the Greek people, I extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and our wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured."

Kosovo's President Vjosa Osmani extended condolences for the "horrific mass shooting," and said Kosovo stands in solidarity with the residents of Prague and Czech friends and allies.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed her "deepest condolences.”

"I express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Czech people as a whole. We stand and mourn with you," she wrote on X.


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