Police surround Prague university building after deadly shooting
A gunman in Prague who killed 14 people and injured more than 20 others is suspected of having also murdered two people in a forest last week.
Police chiefs said the 24-year-old, a student at Charles University where he opened fire, legally owned weapons and had killed his own father earlier in the day.
As the shooting began, crowds of people fled the scene, and eight students perched on a ledge high up outdoors, hiding in terror.
A witness reported seeing the killer on a balcony and shooting towards a bridge. The area, of Jan Palach Square, is close to the old town, particularly popular with visitors at Christmas.
The killer also died, but it is not clear whether he shot himself or was shot dead by officers.
Investigators are expected to work at the crime scene overnight, and are examining a Telegram account potentially linked to the gunman.
The massacre is the worst mass shooting in Czech Republic history.
Gunman suspected of two forest murders last week
Police say they are working on the theory that the gunman who shot dead 14 people at a university in Prague was also responsible for the deaths of two people last week in a forest.
Czech media reported a 32-year-old man and his two-month-old daughter were killed in the Klanovicky forest near Prague.
Officers believe the 24-year-old gunman, who has no criminal history, chose his victims at random.
Jane Dalton21 December 2023 20:27
British couple on honeymoon in Prague ‘still in shock’
A newlywed British couple who were in Prague for their honeymoon said they were still in shock after they were told to “stay down” during the shooting.
Tom Leese, 34, a video producer and his wife Rachael, 31, an account director, were having a drink in the Slivovitz Museum, close to where the shooting occurred.
Mr Leese said: “A policeman came in and started shouting loudly in what I assume was Czech.
“I asked for it in English and he said there was an active shooter and to stay inside and stay down.
“The staff were very calm, turned all the lights off very quickly and urged us to stay calm, the restaurant was relatively quiet.
“The policeman left urgently and we stood in the corner of the restaurant.”
The couple, from Merstham in Surrey, were kept in the the museum for over an hour, hearing sirens outside.
Mr Leese added: “Rachael is still in shock.
“We were meant to be having dinner at the restaurant right by the building tonight and were going to pop in for a drink earlier on, but we crossed the bridge instead.
“We obviously can’t wait to get home now.”
Shweta Sharma22 December 2023 04:30
WATCH: Police surround Prague university building after deadly shooting
Police sealed off part of Prague‘s city centre on Thursday, 21 December, after several people were killed and injured in a shooting according to authorities.
“The shooter has been eliminated. The entire building is currently being evacuated and there are several dead and dozens of injured”, Czech police said on social media.
Footage showed police cars surrounding Jan Palach Square in the city centre, close to the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design.
An email to staff at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, seen by Reuters, had told staff to “stay put” and said a shooter was in one of its buildings.
Police surround Prague university building after deadly shooting
Police sealed off part of Prague’s city centre on Thursday, 21 December, after several people were killed and injured in a shooting according to authorities. “The shooter has been eliminated. The entire building is currently being evacuated and there are several dead and dozens of injured”, Czech police said on social media. Footage showed police cars surrounding Jan Palach Square in the city centre, close to the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. An email to staff at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, seen by Reuters, had told staff to “stay put” and said a shooter was in one of its buildings.
Josh Marcus22 December 2023 04:00
US president Joe Biden condemns ‘senseless shooting’ in Prague
US president Joe Biden also condemned the shooting, describing it as a “senseless” and said American authorities are in touch with Czech law enforcement.
“My heart is with those who lost their lives in today’s senseless shooting in Prague, those injured, and the Czech people,” he said on X.
“Our authorities are in touch with Czech law enforcement, and we stand ready to offer additional support if needed.”
Shweta Sharma22 December 2023 03:35
ICYMI: Terrified students hang from balcony to hide from gunman during Prague shooting
Shocking video footage shows around seven people huddled together and crouched down in an apparent attempt to hide from the shooter.
The gunman killed 10 people and injured 30 others before he was “eliminated” by police, Czech emergency services reported. Nine people are understood to be in a serious condition.
Petr Nedoma, director of the Rudolfinum Gallery at a concert hall across Palach Square, told Czech TV he saw the shooter.
Lydia Patrick has the details.
Josh Marcus22 December 2023 03:30
European leaders condemn violence in Prague
European leaders are denouncing the violence and expressing their shock at the shooting that claimed the lives of 14 people at a university in Prague. They are extending their condolences to the victims and those who were injured.
Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni said “we reiterate our strongest condemnation of all forms of violence, fanaticism and terrorism”.
“I express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the shooting in Prague and my closeness to the injured, to the Prime Minister @P_Fiala and to the entire population of the Czech Republic,” she said on X.
Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen said he is “deeply shocked by the cruel attack” at the university in Prague and his thoughts are with the families of the victims in the “painful hours”.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “strong emotion” upon learning about the shooting at Charles University.
“I express my solidarity with the victims, the injured and their loved ones, as well as with the Czech people and authorities,” he said.
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis: “Appalled by the shooting in #Prague today, that claimed so many innocent lives.”
Shweta Sharma22 December 2023 03:23
Everything we know about the Charles University attack
Images and videos on social media show crowds of people fleeing the scene. One chilling picture shows eight students perched on a ledge high up on the faculty in an apparent bid to hide from the gunman.
Here are the key details:
Josh Marcus22 December 2023 03:00
Czech Republic declares a day of mourning for shooting victims
The Czech Republic has declared a day of mourning on Saturday to remember those who lost their lives in the Prague shooting, officials announced at a joint news conference Thursday.
“I want to express my deep sadness and also helpless anger over the loss of so many young lives,” Czech president Petr Pavel said.
He added that the shooting is “the most tragic incident in the history of the Czech Republic.”
Throughout the day of mourning, flags will be lowered to half-staff, and a nationwide minute of silence will be observed.
Czech prime minister Petr Fiala also mentioned that bells across the country will toll in remembrance of the victims of the attack.
Shweta Sharma22 December 2023 02:54
Is the Prague shooting connecting to another set of killings?
Fourteen people were killed and more than 20 injured in the Czech Republic’s worst ever mass shooting, at a university in Prague.
Police believe the 24-year-old gunman killed his father in his home town just west of Prague, earlier in the day, and that he had also been planning to kill himself. An arrest warrant had been issued for the son.
Detectives are also working on the theory that the killer was responsible for the deaths of two people last week in the Klanovicky forest near Prague. They believe he chose his victims at random.
Jane Dalton and Alex Ross report.
Josh Marcus22 December 2023 02:30
US ‘not aware’ of any citizens harmed in Prague shooting
Police have not released the identities of the 14 people shot at a Prague university on Thursday.
It’s unlikely any US citizens were harmed in the shooting, however, according to the State Department.
It told CBS News on Thursday it was “not aware of any U.S. citizens injured or killed at this time.”
Josh Marcus22 December 2023 01:50