Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 15:01 IST
Prague gunman -excellent student- killed father before mass university shooting
According to media reports the Prague gunman allegedly killed his father and his two-month old daughter before the mass university shooting incident.
Prague: In what is believed to be the worst mass shooting in the Czech Republic's history, a 24-year-old Czech student killed 14 people and injured 25 others at his university in Prague before reportedly killing himself. According to a Reuters report he allegedly killed his father and his two-month old daughter before the mass university shooting incident.
Police, who recovered an extensive arsenal of firearms at the downtown Prague Charles University building where the incident occurred, received a tip off earlier in the day that the suspect was likely on his way to Prague from his town in the Kladno region outside the capital with plans to commit suicide.
Shortly later, the shooter's father was discovered dead.
Police evacuated a Faculty of Arts building where the gunman was scheduled to attend a lecture, but were immediately dispatched to the bigger main building of the faculty, arriving minutes after reports of the shooting, according to Police President Martin Vondrasek.
Vondrasek informed reporters that police obtained "unconfirmed information from an account on a social network that he was supposedly inspired by one terrorist attack in Russia in the autumn of this year," and that the shooter was a legal holder of numerous firearms.
"It was a pre-mediated horrific act that started in the Kladno region and unfortunately ended here." Vondrasek said while adding that the gunman is also suspected in the deaths of another man and his two-month-old daughter, who were discovered shot dead in the woods of a hamlet outside Prague last week.
The gunman's death was most likely a suicide, but investigators are also looking into whether he was killed by police who returned fire, according to Vondrasek.
Shooter a high-achieving student
According to police, he was a high-achieving student with no past criminal record and acted alone. Police requested that the man's identity not be revealed, although his name, as published by the Czech media, matched a police search record.
According to Interior Minister Vit Rakusan, there was no link between the shooting and international terrorism.
National mourning day across
The government announced a national day of mourning to remember the victims for December 23 across central European country, following a special cabinet meeting with President Petr Pavel. "I would express my great sadness along with helpless anger at the unnecessary loss of so many young lives," Pavel said.
“I would like to express my sincere condolences to all relatives of the victims, to all who were at this tragic incident, the most tragic in the history of the Czech Republic,” he added.
Candles were lit outside the historic Charles University office, the oldest in central Europe, founded in 1348.
Gun crime is uncommon in the Czech Republic. In December 2019, a 42-year-old gunman killed six people in a hospital waiting room in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava before fleeing and fatally shooting himself, according to authorities.
In 2015, a man shot and killed eight people before killing himself at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod.
(With agency inputs)
Published December 22nd, 2023 at 11:34 IST