Dec 23, 2023

Today Czechs Observe Day of Mourning for Victims of Prague Shooting

Czechs are observing a day of mourning for the victims of the tragic shooting at the Prague Faculty of Arts on Thursday.

The Office of the President of the Republic lowered the flags at Prague Castle to half-mast on Friday afternoon.

In response to the tragedy, the Castle Guard also canceled the musical accompaniment for the changing of the guard and other planned Christmas musical performances.

Today at 11 am, a memorial service for the victims and their families is scheduled at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle. Prague Archbishop Jan Graubner will lead the mass in remembrance.

At midday precisely people around the country will hold a minute of silence for the victims.

During the state mourning period, cultural events typically take a subdued tone, with many cities canceling concerts, performances, and shows.

Sporting events face cancellations, and Christmas markets in various places will cease their musical activities. The public is encouraged to observe a silent memorial for the 14 victims of the tragic shooting. The last time the Czech Republic declared a state mourning was in 2020 following the death of Senate President Jaroslav Kubera.

Masses are being held around the country and people are laying flowers and lighting candles at impromptu commemorative sites that have appeared in many towns and cities.

Fourteen people were killed and 25 injured, ten of them seriously, in a shooting at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in Prague on Thursday afternoon.

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The incident happened at around three o’clock at the faculty’s main building on Jan Palach Square in the city centre. The gunman, who began shooting on the fourth floor of the building, later committed suicide.

The identity of the shooter has not yet been confirmed, but the suspect is a 24-year-old student of the faculty from the village of Hostouň in central Bohemia, whose father was found dead earlier on Thursday.

Authorities also began releasing more details about the attack and events that preceded the shooting, which was carried out by a 24-year-old arts student, police say.

He is most likely to have shot himself after police cornered him on a balcony and dropped his long-barrel gun with sights, said Petr Matejcek, director of the Prague regional police.

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