The killer traveled to the Czech capital after murdering his father earlier on Thursday, police said
A gunman killed 15 people and injured two dozen others in an attack at Charles University in Prague on Thursday, Czech police said. The attacker, identified as a student at the university, was “eliminated” at the scene.
Police officers rushed to the university building at Jan Palach Square in central Prague on Thursday afternoon, where they “eliminated” an active shooter, Police President Martin Vondrasek told reporters.
As the building was evacuated, officers found 15 victims dead and at least 24 more injured, Vondrasek said.
Czech media identified the shooter as 24-year-old David Kozak, a student at the university. However, Vondrasek said that the killer had yet to be named. The police chief also noted that it was unclear whether officers or the suspect himself fired the bullet that took his life and ended the killing spree.
The killer is suspected of murdering his father in the city of Kladno earlier on Thursday before traveling to Prague, Vondrasek said.
Jan Palach Square and the surrounding streets remain closed to the public until midnight, police said. While media reports suggested that Kozak may have planted explosives at the building, Interior Minister Vit Rakusan told reporters that the public “is not in immediate danger.”
As of Thursday evening, police officers were searching the scene for explosives, the national police force said in a statement on social media.
Thursday’s attack is the worst shooting incident in recent Czech history. While the Czech Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms and use them in self-defense, gun crime is rare, and the country records fewer annual homicides by firearm than France, Australia, and the Netherlands.
Most recently, a man killed six people in a hospital waiting room in the city of Ostrava in 2019 before turning his gun on himself, while eight people were killed in a similar incident at a restaurant in the town of Uhersky Brod in 2015.
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