Dec 21, 2023

Czechia Declares National Mourning Day on December 23

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

The Czech government has decided to declare a day of national mourning on December 23 to honor the memory of the victims, following a shooting at the university

“We call on citizens to honor the victims with a minute of silence that day at noon. We asked governors and state administration authorities to ring the bells throughout the Czech Republic at 12 o’clock,” said Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

It also ordered the Minister for Justice to provide maximum cooperation to survivors in dealing with claims for compensation under the Victims of Crime Act.

What happened

A gunman has shot dead 15 people and injured another 24 at the Faculty of Arts in Prague, officials say, in the deadliest attack in modern Czech history.

Police say the 24-year-old gunman was also “eliminated” following the shooting at Charles University. University staff were told to barricade themselves in rooms during the attack.

The shooting started at about 15:00 at the university’s on Jan Palach Square.

Dramatic footage later emerged on social media showing some people jumping to safety from one of the building’s ledges several storeys up, and gunshots are also heard.

In a separate video, terrified crowds are seen fleeing the area popular with tourists.

At a briefing on Thursday evening, the country’s police chief and the interior minister said the gunman had been a student at the faculty.

They said he was from Kladno, a village 30km from Prague. The suspect’s father had been found dead earlier on Thursday. The gunman’s motives were not immediately known.

Preliminary information suggested that no police officers were injured in the attack, the authorities said.

Mass shooting likely related to another murder case

The shooting at the Faculty of Arts could be related to the brutal murder of a father and his two-month-old daughter in Klánovice on the eastern edge of Prague on Friday, Police President Martin Vondrášek said at a press conference on Thursday.

According to Mr. Vondrášek, police are working with the version that the shooter was also responsible for the killing.

He also said there was a huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition in the faculty’s building on Jan Palach square, where the mass shooting took place.

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