A mass shooting at Prague University killed more than a dozen people

Prague – People in the Czech capital tried to come to grips on Friday, killing 14 people and injuring dozens in the country’s history.

Political leaders, students, friends of the victims and others came together to light candles and mourn the victims, and a sudden vigil was held at the university headquarters.

A young woman lights a candle at a makeshift memorial for the victims outside Charles University in central Prague on December 22, 2023.

Michal CIZEK / AFP via Getty Images

“Some of my friends study philosophy at Charles University,” said Kristof Unger, a student. “And they’re really traumatized by the filming there, and I wanted to make them feel a little bit better.”

Robert Hanes, another vigil attendee, said everyone should come together to take a stand against the attack. He said this should not be normalized.

The university’s rector, Milena Kralicova, lit a candle in the midst of the crowd. “The academic community was shaken, deeply shaken,” he said.

At least 25 people were injured when a student opened fire at a Prague university, killing 14 people before turning himself in, authorities said Friday.

A State Department spokesperson told CBS News Thursday evening that “no US citizens are known to have been injured or killed at this time.”

Interior Minister Vit Ragusan said police in Prague worked overnight and identified all 14 people who died in Thursday’s attack. The Institute of Music Science confirmed that its president, Lenka Hlavkova, was among the dead.

The Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed that three of the injured were foreigners – from the United Arab Emirates and one from the Netherlands.

A police officer walks around the Charles University building where a mass shooting took place on December 22, 2023 in Prague, Czech Republic.

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The carnage took place at Charles University’s art faculty, where the 24-year-old shooter was a student, Prague police chief Martin Vondracek said.

Petr Matejcek, director of the police regional headquarters in Prague, said the gunman shot himself on the balcony of the university building when police officers approached him. The gunman’s name has not been released.

Officials have warned that the death toll could rise.

Early on Friday morning, with the scene of the shooting still sealed off by police, people were seen flocking to the university headquarters to raise awareness.

Police said on Friday they had increased security in a crackdown on schools and other “soft targets” – public facilities that are usually difficult to secure. The university rectors also said that they are working with police experts on further preventive measures to increase security around the campus.

Police have not released details of the dead and injured or a possible motive for the shooting at the building. Ragusan said Thursday that investigators do not suspect ties to any extremist ideology or groups. Authorities said they believe the gunman acted alone.

Police chief Vondracek said they believe the man killed his father on Thursday in his hometown of Hoestown, west of Prague, and that he planned to kill himself. He said the gunman is suspected of killing a man and his 2-month-old daughter on Dec. 15 in Prague.

Police said the shooter legally owned several guns and was heavily armed at the time of the attack.

Leaders from many countries including the United States, UN The Czech government declared Saturday a national day of mourning to honor the victims.

Earlier, in the country’s worst mass shooting in 2015, eight people were killed when a gunman opened fire in the southeastern city of Uhersky Broad.

Charles University was founded in 1348 and the Faculty of Arts is one of its oldest academic facilities.

The building where the shooting took place is located near the Vltava River in Jan Balach Square, a busy tourist area in Prague’s Old Town. Just a few minutes’ walk from the picturesque Old Town Square, the famous Christmas market is a major tourist attraction attracting thousands of visitors.

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