Shooting at the Faculty of Arts in Prague. Police are identifying the victims

Crime investigators continued to search the building on Friday night, however, the transport company resumed tram and metro service around the scene of the tragedy last night, and buses have been running in the area since Friday morning.

According to information from an official account on the X Network, the police have taken nationwide preventive measures against soft targets and schools. But there is no information about any specific threat. “It’s really about deterrence — a signal that we’re here and we’re ready.” writes custody

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said in a Radiožurnál broadcast after eight o’clock that the police had already identified 13 of the 14 victims. He said three foreigners were among the twenty injured. The Interior Ministry later announced that two of the three foreigners injured in the Charles University shooting were from the United Arab Emirates and one from the Netherlands.

“13 of the total 14 victims of that insane massacre have already been identified at this point. The police are definitely in contact with the survivors, always providing psychological crisis intervention,” the Austrian said. He added that police lockdown measures in the Czech Republic will last until at least January 1 after Thursday’s shooting at Charles University.

On Friday night, US President Joe Biden also expressed his condolences to the survivors of the largest mass shooting in the Czech Republic’s modern history, writing on the X social network: “My heart is breaking. Senseless shooting for the people of Prague, the injured and the people of the Czech Republic.”

According to him, US officials are in contact with the Czech defense forces and the US is ready to provide further assistance to the Czech Republic if the Czech Republic requests it, Biden added.

The most tragic shooting in the history of the Czech Republic

On Thursday, the Czech Republic experienced the deadliest mass shooting in its history. According to the latest police data, an attacker shot dead 14 people and injured 25 others in the building of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University on Jan Balach Square in the center of Prague. The shooter, who committed suicide after the attack, also died. Due to this tragic incident, the government has announced that mourning will be observed on Saturday, December 23. The event caused shock and a wave of solidarity. Politicians mourned the dead and praised the work of the police and other emergency services that intervened.

The suspect is a 24-year-old teacher student from the village of Hostoun in central Bohemia who has no criminal record. According to police, he was inspired by a similar case abroad, where the shooting appeared to be the work of a lone gunman. Additionally, police are investigating the possibility that the man was also responsible for a double homicide in Klanowicke Les, where, according to media reports, a thirty-two-year-old man and his two-month-old daughter died six days apart. Before.

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Extraordinary meeting of Govt

On Thursday evening, due to the tragedy, the government held an extraordinary meeting, which was attended by President Peter Powell. The Cabinet has decided to observe Saturday, December 23 as a day of national mourning. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) called on citizens to observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the tragedy. At the same time, bells must be ringing in the Republic.

President Peter Powell appealed to politicians, media and citizens not to politically exploit the tragedy, attack the police or spread false information. If possible, he believes it is important to find reasonable solutions to prevent situations like today’s tragedy in the future. According to Pavel, the Czech Republic now mainly needs control. Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) said that police monitoring of pre-Christmas events has already been strengthened due to attacks by the Hamas movement on Israel in October, but there will be some measures.

Representatives of other Czech and foreign politicians, ambassadors, universities, authorities, companies, churches, associations and other institutions also expressed their condolences to the survivors of the victims and their shock at the event. The police and Charles University have set up a crisis hotline, and other organizations are also offering psychological help, specifically. The UK Endowment Fund announced a fundraiser to help the families of students and teachers affected by the incident. In the evening, thousands gathered at the place of worship at the fruit market, the headquarters of the university, and lit candles there.

The building housed a huge arsenal

Police Chief Martin Vondracek told reporters Thursday that the faculty building contained a large cache of weapons and ammunition. Had it not been for the quick intervention of the police, there would have been many more casualties, he said. According to university rector Milena Kralikova, the attacker had weapons in his large luggage when he arrived at the faculty.

According to Vondracek, police are working on the version that the shooter is responsible for a man and a child from Klanowicke Les. Police have been searching for the perpetrator of this crime since Friday in vain, but his identity is still unknown. According to Vondrášek, the possible connection between the two cases is related to the discovery by the police today in Kladensk at the scene of the death of a man who is said to be the father of the shooter from the faculty. He had nothing to do with these victims or the place.

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At around 12:20 pm yesterday, the police received a tip-off that a young man from Hostoun village was going to Prague, saying he wanted to commit suicide. 25 minutes later, the suspect’s father was found dead in Hosetown, and later announced that he was looking for his son. The police found out that the man was going to give a lecture on Seledna Street in Prague. So he vacated the Faculty of Philosophy building there, but the shooting later took place in the main building on John Ballach Square.

After the shooting was reported, police cordoned off the area around the building, diverted traffic and urged residents not to stay in or out of the area. Students and teaching staff locked classrooms and the library and laid siege. Police later evacuated them to nearby Rudolphinum and began a pyrotechnic inspection of the building.

The attacker committed suicide

Before 16:00, the police announced that the culprit had been neutralized. He later indicated that he had committed suicide, but the intervening police officers also shot him dead. The rescue service first reported 11 dead, including the attacker, and later the police chief said more than 15 were injured, adding that by evening he had 14 dead and 25 injured. Ambulances took patients to several Prague hospitals. The identity of the deceased is still being ascertained and verified by the police. According to the investigation so far, all of them died in the faculty building and one of the dead was lying outside in the street.

Someone started yelling, “Get out of here,” the student recounted

Martin Kotada, representative of Charles University’s Faculty of Arts student union, was in the building on John Ballach Square when the first shots rang out. He managed to get out of the prime.

Someone started shouting ‘get out of here’. A gunshot was also heard. I never thought that something like this would happen to me in my college. “None of us were prepared for this,” says Gotada. “I know many of my classmates were locked in classrooms or the library when I came out,” he adds.

Kotada had not yet reached nearby Rudolfinum, where the bulk of the evacuees had gone. “They shouted at us to run away. I ran towards the Faculty of Law.’

The rescued students called their families and loved ones, social media and student groups to let each other know if they were okay. “I want to thank the police and emergency services, they saved so many of our lives,” says Kotada.

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Since afternoon, police have also intervened near the house in Hosetown where the suspect is coming from, and according to them there is no danger.

According to Rakušan, gun laws in the Czech Republic are relatively strict and well-structured. He pointed out that it is difficult to predict that someone with no record in the registry would commit such a heinous act.

According to available footage, the shooter most likely used an AR-15 self-loading rifle, Czech Television (ČT) reported. The American manufacturer’s weapon had an optical sight and an auxiliary bipod for long-range firing. It is possible to conduct legal proceedings in the Czech Republic. The AR-15 rifle is often misused by shooters in attacks on American schools.

Universities want more security

Due to the tragic shooting at the Faculty of Arts, Minister of Education Mikulas Pek (STAN) and Charles University Rector Milena Kralikova decided to convene a joint meeting of rectors, representatives of the Ministry of Education and other departments on security measures at universities. A delegation from the Czech rectors’ conference is due to meet with Beck on January 3, and he will speak with some of them online on Friday. The university administration has strongly suggested tightening security measures in university buildings and canceling today’s and Friday’s events involving more than 20 people. Some teachers canceled classes on Friday.

Thursday’s shooting at Prague University was the fourth worst in Europe in the past 15 years. Condolences are now pouring in to the Czech Republic from around the world – foreign politicians have also expressed grief over the incident and condolences to the families and relatives of the shooting victims. In reactions on social networks, Czech politicians spoke about the tragic and terrible event. They also appreciated the work of the Integrated Rescue System (IZS) and its quick response. Police have repeatedly called on citizens and journalists not to spread unverified news or information about the shooter.

This tragic event also affected sporting events. Hockey Extra League’s Friday matches have been cancelled. UEFA accepted the request of football club Slavia and postponed today’s women’s football match in the Champions League. Tragically, Wimbledon tennis champion Markéta Vondroušová was absent from today’s ceremony to announce her Sportsperson of the Year award. The ceremony took place, but Czech television broadcast it only from the recording and the gala evening was without a cultural program.

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