14 People Died, 24 Seriously Injured in Shooting at Prague’s Faculty of Philosophy
14 people were killed and several injured, some of them seriously, in a shooting at Prague’s Faculty of Philosophy on Thursday afternoon.
The incident happened at around three o’clock at the faculty’s main building on Jan Palach Square in the city centre, the police have said.
The shooter, who is believed to have acted alone, was killed by the police and the building was evacuated. The entire area around the square remains closed off, and traffic is been diverted.
“Based on initial information we can confirm there are dead and injured people at the site,” police said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan said no other assailant was at the scene, but he urged people to cooperate with police. Prague’s rescue service confirmed that about 30 others suffered various injuries.
Pavel Nedoma, the director of Rudolfinum Gallery, which also is located in the square, told Czech public television he saw from a window a person who was shooting from a gun toward the nearby Manes bridge across the Vltava River.
December 22, 2023
The 24-year-old had a proclivity for firearms, with a license to own eight guns, including two long guns, police said. Authorities said the lone assailant had no criminal record and therefore did not attract the attention of authorities.
A mass will be celebrated at St. Vitus Cathedral starting at 11am on Saturday December 23 for the victims of Thursday’s shooting. The service will be led by the Archbishop of Prague Jan Graubner.
Ballistics experts have found a match between the weapon used in last week’s murder of two people in Prague’s Klánovice forest and a weapon found in the home of the lone shooter who killed 14 people and injured 25 at the Faculty of Arts.
‼️Mimořádná zpráva ‼️
— Policie ČR (@PolicieCZ) December 22, 2023
“Hospitals provided the highest level of cooperation during the entire intervention,” said Petr Kolouch, director of the Prague Emergency Services. According to the latest information, the majority of the injured should survive. “They are currently stabilized following their procedures.”
Another nearly two million crowns were collected through a crowdfunding campaign organised by Znesnaze 21 organisation. Masaryk University in Brno also announced plans to launch a public collection.
Police confirmed the final number of 13 victims. All the identities are already known. The 14th casualty is the shooter. None of the victims is a foreigner.
Police have implemented heightened security measures at potential soft targets nationwide such as schools, hospitals, and cultural events. A religious service for the victims of the tragic shooting at Charles University in Prague will be held at St Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle on Saturday at 11 a.m.
The director of the Institute of Musicology of the Faculty of Music confirmed among the victims.
“It is with deep regret that we announce that yesterday’s promising news has unfortunately not been confirmed. Based on verified information from the family and with their permission, we announce that our colleague and director of the Institute of Musicology of the Faculty of Music, Lenka Hlávková did not survive yesterday’s attack,” informed the Institute of Musicology.
The police have set up a special crisis line for the public where they can get more information (974 823 158). It has asked the public not to call the 158 emergency line in connection with the case.
People have contributed millions of crowns to support the families of the victims, teachers and students affected by Thursday’s shooting at the Faculty of Arts.
The collection organised by Charles University Foundation Fund raised nearly CZK 4 million by Friday morning. The university said it will use the funds to provide targeted assistance to those affected by the tragedy and will coordinate its use with the faculty’s administration.
Three foreigners are among the injured following the attack by a gunman at the Faculty of Arts – one citizen of the Netherlands, two citizens of the United Arab Emirates.
December 21, 2023
The government has decided to declare a day of national mourning on December 23 to honor the memory of the victims. “We call on citizens to honor the victims with a minute of silence that day at 12 p.m. We asked governors and state administration authorities to ring the bells throughout the Czech Republic at 12 o’clock,” said Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
According to Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN), gun legislation in the Czech Republic is relatively strict. He pointed out that it is difficult to predict that a person who has no criminal record will commit such a serious crime.
The White House has expressed regret over the act of violence following the shooting in Prague and said the US is ready to provide the necessary support to the Czech Republic.
President Petr Pavel has prematurely ended his business trip to France and will meet with state security forces as soon as he returns to Czechia, the presidential office said. Prime Minister Petr Fiala has also cancelled his work programme in Olomouc and is heading to Prague.
“Police officers have taken a bag with a square object, which could have been a computer, from a family house in Hostouň,” a Seznam Zpravy reporter said. “Police are searching the garden behind the house.”
There is no indication that the shooting at the Charles University in Prague was in any way connected to international terrorism, Interior Minister said.
Ambulances took the injured after the shooting at the Faculty of Arts to hospitals in Prague. Seven are being treated at Motol, three each at Bulovka and ÚVN, and two each at VFN and Na Františku.
The suspect in the UK Faculty of Arts shooting wrote on Telegram this week that he “hates the world and wants to leave behind as much pain as possible”.
Police say the shooter was inspired by a 14-year-old Russian woman who killed two students, wounded five and committed suicide in Bryansk, Russia, on 7 December.
“We found out through the shooter’s background check that he is a legal possessor of several firearms,” the police chief added.
Czech police chief Vondrášek said that more than 15 people lost their lives and at least 24 people were injured.
President Petr Pavel has expressed deep regret and sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the victims of the shooting at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague. On the social network X, he also thanked the citizens for respecting the instructions of the security forces.
According to a faculty member, shots were fired on the fourth floor of the building and people from the school were then evacuated to the Rudolfinum building across the street.
Following today’s shooting at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague, the Government will hold an emergency meeting tonight at 21:00, the Straka Academy has announced.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has expressed his condolences to the victims of the Prague shooting. He wrote on the X network that he is deeply shocked and prays for the victims.
Police have announced that they have evacuated the entire building of the Faculty of Philosophy on Jana Palach Square in Prague following the shooting. They are conducting a pyrotechnical search.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is shocked by today’s shooting in Prague. She wrote on the social network X that she is thinking of her Czech neighbours and friends at this difficult hour. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on X that the attack in the middle of Prague struck at the heart of Europe. She then expressed her condolences to the Czech Republic.
The shooting at the Faculty of Arts is the most tragic in the country’s history. Eight people died in Uherský Brod in 2015 and six people died in a shooting at a hospital in Ostrava in 2019.
Reacting to the shooting in Prague, EC chief von der Leyen said she was shocked by the senseless violence and expressed her condolences to the families of the victims and the Czech nation.
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