Police say more than 14 people were killed in a gun attack at Charles University in Prague. “I can currently confirm 14 victims and 25 injured people of this terrible crime,” said Police Chief Martin Vondrasek on Thursday. There had previously been talk of more than 15 deaths. Interior Minister Vit Rakusan also said there was no evidence of a connection to international terrorism. The suspected shooter is dead.
It is assumed that it is a student at the university who had recently murdered his father and was wanted for that reason. However, formal identification is still pending. The alleged perpetrator was probably inspired by mass shootings abroad. It is believed to be the worst gun attack in the history of the Czech Republic, which has been independent since 1993.
The incident occurred at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University on Jan Palach Square. Humanities are taught there. The police were on site with a large contingent, including special forces. Jan Palach Square is located just a few hundred meters from the world-famous Charles Bridge, the city's landmark on the Vltava.
The police called on people to avoid the area. Residents should not go out of the house. Photos showed students leaving the university building with their arms raised. According to a report by the TV station Nova, the shooter is said to have been on the roof of the faculty building. An explosion was also heard.
Students and staff at the university said on social media that they had barricaded themselves in lecture halls and offices. People should now be brought out of the building one by one. The rescue service sent a number of ambulances, emergency doctors and a large-capacity ambulance to the scene.
Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan said on public television CT late in the afternoon that there was no longer any danger to the public. According to his information, the suspected shooter is dead. There is no evidence of a second shooter. Rakusan nevertheless called on the population to follow police instructions. The minister rushed to the scene after the crime.
Czech President Petr Pavel expressed shock after the gun attack. “I would like to express my deep regret and sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the shooting victims,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in the evening on
Charles University was founded in 1348, making it one of the oldest European universities. It has a total of around 49,500 students. Of these, around 8,000 study at the Faculty of Philosophy, which offers subjects such as German, Slavic and historical studies.
Editor's note: This article was continuously updated until 10 p.m. In particular, the information about the number of victims was subject to changes. You can read a current summary here.