Mass shooting on university campus leaves 14 victims dead, 25 injured

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – At least 14 people were killed and 25 others wounded on Thursday in the deadliest mass shooting in decades in the Czech Republic. The assailant, a 24-year-old student of the Charles University Faculty of Arts, reportedly died by suicide, according to Czech Police Chief Martin Vondrášek.

The incident unfolded at the Faculty of Arts building of Charles University, situated in the heart of Prague and adjacent to several popular tourist attractions. The gunman allegedly arrived there from his home village of Hostouň.

In response to the rampage, many students barricaded themselves in classrooms to evade the gunfire, with disturbing images posted on social media showing several people secluding themselves on an outside ledge several floors up on the building.

Recounting his ordeal, 25-year-old graduate student Jakob Weizman recalled how he and his professor created a barricade with furniture inside their classroom. After hearing gunshots and screams, they both hid under a desk. The barricade was taken down only upon police arrival.

In the resulting chaos, Weizman reported seeing blood on every floor of the building upon being guided out by police. The scene was described as very traumatizing.

Chief Vondrášek revised the death toll to 14 after previously reporting 15 deaths. Among the 25 people hurt, 10 of them are in critical condition. He also mentioned that police had received prior information about the shooter intending to commit suicide.

In a related incident, a deceased man was found in Hostouň, suspected to be the gunman’s father. Connection to a double homicide in Klanovice, a suburban area of Prague, was also established.

Vondrášek confirmed that the shooter was a legal gun owner with several weapons in his possession. The police remain unsettled about why he opened fire at the University.

In a testament to the gravity of the incident, a day of national mourning will be observed in the Czech Republic on Saturday. A nationwide silence will take place at noon on Saturday, accompanied by the tolling of bells across the country.

Charles University announced stricter security protocols effective immediately and temporarily suspended scheduled events.