A shooting spree in the Czech Republic resulted in the tragic death of at least 15 individuals on Thursday, with 14 victims at Prague’s Charles University and the suspect’s father. An additional 24 people sustained injuries during the incident at the university. The 24-year-old gunman, identified as David K., and a student of world history at Charles University, took his own life after fatally shooting his father in Kladno, near Prague.
During a press conference in Prague, Chief of the National Police Force Martin Vondraska revealed that the assailant had been influenced by a similar event abroad, although the location was not specified. Hailing from a small village near Kladno, the shooter possessed a valid gun license. The incident unfolded in Prague’s Old Town, with the gunman falling from the roof of the university’s faculty of arts building after the attack on Jan Palach Square.
The authorities swiftly evacuated the faculty of arts building, while videos on social media captured scenes of people fleeing the area. Mass shootings are uncommon in the Czech Republic, prompting Prime Minister Petr Fiala to cut short his trip and return to Prague.
The capital had already been on edge due to a recent incident where a father and his baby daughter were found dead from gunshot wounds in Klanovice forest. The last major shooting incident occurred in 2019 in Ostrava, where a gunman killed six people in a hospital waiting room. Prague’s interior minister, Vit Rakusan, described Thursday’s shooting as “unprecedented” in Czech history, extending condolences to the victims’ families.
Jan Palach Square, the location of the shooting, is named after a student who self-immolated in 1969 to protest the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Charles University, established in 1348, is one of the world’s oldest universities.