Prague shooting: At least 15 dead in Czech capital

Another 30 people are injured, including nine seriously wounded, according to the Czech rescue service

16.29 21 Dec 2023

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Prague shooting: At least 15 d...

Prague shooting: At least 15 dead in Czech capital


16.29 21 Dec 2023

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At least 15 people have been killed in a shooting in central Prague, according to Czech emergency services.

The gunman is among the dead  and at least 25 others have been wounded - with 10 seriously injured.

The body of the gunman - a 24-year-old student at Charles University in Prague - was discovered in the university's philosophy building, according to officials.


Police said the gunman's father was also found dead at a property in Hostoun, a village to the west of the Czech capital, earlier today.

Officers are still sweeping the area, including the building's balconies, for possible explosives.

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin said he was 'shocked' by the tragedy.

Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan earlier confirmed to media that the gunman had died.

"According to preliminary information, the shooter himself should be dead, there are dead and wounded on site, I will not speculate now about the final number," he said on Czech television earlier.

In a post on X, he added: "Please follow the instructions of the police, the situation is serious.

"I am going straight to the place to familiarise myself with the situation."

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala also cancelled his scheduled events to travel to Prague.

He said he was "shocked" by what happened and offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims.

The incident place took place in the area of Jan Palach Square, in Prague's Old Town district.

Irish citizens were asked to follow the advice of local authorities.

The suspect - who has not yet been named by police - legally owned several guns, and carried out what Prague police president Martin Vondrasek described as a "well-thought-out" and "horrible act".

Mr Vondrasek said police had evacuated another university building - where the student had been due to attend a lecture on Thursday - prior to the shooting.

Members of the public were advised to leave the area, home to The Philosophical Faculty of Charles University and the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design.

An email sent to staff at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University while the incident was ongoing said a shooter was in one of the buildings and urged staff to "stay put", according to Reuters.

"Don't go anywhere, if you're in the offices, lock them and place furniture in front of the door, turn off the lights," the email said, according to the news agency.

One X user earlier posted a photo of a group of students, hiding crouched on a ledge of the building.

Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda said both The Philosophical Faculty of Charles University and the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design, were evacuated.

Petr Nedoma, director of the Rudolfinum Gallery at a concert hall across Palach Square, told Czech TV he saw the gunman.

"I saw a young person on the gallery who had some weapon in his hand, like an automatic weapon, and shooting toward the Manes Bridge, repeatedly, with some interruptions," he said.

He said he saw the gunman put his hands up before throwing the weapon down on the street, where it landed on a pedestrian crossing.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was "shocked by the senseless violence of the shooting".

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the US stood "ready to provide additional support as needed" to Czech authorities.

Main image: The Municipal Police of the City of Prague respond to an emergency call, 27-6-17. Image: Jaromír Chalabala / Alamy

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Bohuslav Svoboda Czech Czech Capital Czech Republic Czechia Irish Citizens Martin Vondrasek Micheál Martin Petr Fiala Prague Prague Shooting Ursula Von Der Leyen Vit Rakusan

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