Czech Republic declares day of mourning after Prague shooting | World | News

December 22, 2023
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A day of mourning has been announced in the Czech Republic after 14 people were killed and 25 injured during a shooting in Prague.

President Petr Pavel spoke of his “great sadness” and “helpless anger” at the “totally unnecessary” loss of life at a university in Prague. He said police had “elminated” the gunman, who is believed to have killed his father and possibly two other people.

The shooting started at around 3pm local time – 2pm GMT – on Thursday, December 22, in the Faculty of Arts building at Charles University in central Prague. The gunman opened fire in the building, seemingly killed people at random, while staff and students were forced to barricade themselves into rooms using furniture.

Footage emerged on social media showing people jumping from safety several stories up. Officers say David Kozak, a 24-year-old student with no prior convictions, is thought to be the shooter.

Police received reports a suspect was believed to be heading into Prague from a nearby town just before the shooting. A short time later the man’s father was reportedly found dead.

Officers however evacuated a different building, where the gunman had been expected to attend a lecture. It was a short while later when they were called to the nearby building.

Police say 10 people were seriously injured in the shooting, 15 others hurt, and 14 killed. In a statement, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said: “We are all shocked by this horrendous act.

“It is hard to find the words to express condemnation on the one hand and, on the other, the pain and sorrow that our entire society is feeling in these days before Christmas.”

Fiala said Saturday would be a day of mourning, with flags at half-mast and a minute’s silence at midday. A number of sporting and cultural events in the Czech Republic have been axed.

Floral tributes were left at the scene on Thursday night. Officers say the motive for the killing is not yet known.

Police reportedly received unconfirmed information suggesting the shooting could have been inspired by a similar incident in Russia. They told the Beeb the gunman was also suspected in the killing of a young man and his two-month-old daughter who were found dead in a forest on the outskirts of Prague on December 15.



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