A gunman killed no less than 14 individuals and wounded no less than 25 others at a Prague college on Thursday earlier than he was killed, based on police and Prague emergency companies, marking the nation’s worst-ever mass taking pictures.
Czech police responded to the taking pictures at Charles College’s college of arts constructing in Jan Palach Sq. shortly after 3 p.m. native time. Police mentioned the daddy of the shooter was discovered useless earlier on Thursday. The shooter was a scholar within the college of arts.
“We at all times thought that this was a factor that didn’t concern us. Now it seems that, sadly, our world can also be altering and the issue of the person shooter is rising right here as properly,” Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda informed Czech Tv.
Police sealed off the sq. and the world adjoining to the constructing, situated in a busy a part of city with a well-liked avenue main vacationers to Previous City Sq..
A Czech TV stay broadcast confirmed a number of ambulances and police automobiles with flashing lights lined up alongside the constructing with sirens blaring.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala expressed his condolences on social media to these affected by what he characterised as an “inexcusable assault.” He cancelled a deliberate journey to the east of the nation and was en path to Prague as an alternative, he mentioned.
Police had earlier mentioned greater than 15 individuals had been killed in the taking pictures on the college in central Prague, together with the gunman. It was not clear whether or not the latest dying toll included the shooter, however authorities warned that the dying toll might nonetheless rise.
College authorities mentioned they might tighten safety in college buildings with speedy impact.
“We mourn the lack of lifetime of members of our college neighborhood, categorical our deepest condolences to all of the bereaved and our ideas are with all these affected by the tragedy,” Charles College mentioned in an announcement.
College students, witnesses describe chaotic scene
Petr Nedoma, director of the Rudolfinum Gallery at a live performance corridor throughout Palach Sq., informed Czech TV he noticed the shooter.
“I noticed a teenager on the gallery who had some weapon in his hand, like an computerized weapon, and taking pictures towards the Manes Bridge,” he mentioned.
One witness informed information web site iDnes.cz that they obtained off on the tram cease by the varsity and “immediately I heard taking pictures.”
Klara, a scholar, informed the information web site she was amongst those that police evacuated from the constructing.
“It was terribly scary, there have been quite a lot of policemen in all places, who had been shouting at us with submachine weapons, telling us to run outdoors,” she mentioned.
An e mail despatched to employees and college students had mentioned the shooter was in one of many buildings.
“Do not go anyplace,” the e-mail mentioned. “If you happen to’re within the places of work, lock them and place furnishings in entrance of the door, flip off the lights.”
Gunman impressed by comparable bloodbath in Russia, police say
Czech police have recognized the shooter as a 24-year-old. He had studied within the Charles College’s humanities college, the place he earned a bachelor of arts in historical past and European research in 2022.
He additionally had a channel on Telegram, wherein he wrote in Cyrillic that he needed to hold out a faculty taking pictures and was impressed by an analogous tragedy that had taken place in Russia, Czech police confirmed to the media.
In different posts, Czech police mentioned he deliberate to inflict as a lot ache as attainable.
Prague police Chief Martin Vondrasek mentioned that primarily based on a search of his residence, the gunman was additionally suspected within the killing of one other man and his two-month-old daughter on Dec. 15, within the east of Prague.
The BBC reported that in a night press convention, Czech Inside Minister Vit Rakusan mentioned numerous weapons had been discovered on the college constructing.
“We might have had excessive tens of victims with no fast police response,” he mentioned.
The Czech authorities shortly sought to quell considerations that the bloodbath was backed by overseas pursuits.
“There is no indication that it has something to do with worldwide terrorism,” mentioned Rakusan.
Gun crime is comparatively uncommon within the Czech Republic. In December 2019, a 42-year-old gunman killed six individuals at a hospital ready room within the japanese Czech metropolis of Ostrava earlier than fleeing and fatally taking pictures himself, police mentioned.
In 2015, a person fatally shot eight individuals after which killed himself at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod.