On Friday, residents of the Czech capital were still trying to process the horrific mass shooting that had occurred the previous day, which had killed fourteen people and wounded scores more. An impromptu vigil was held at the university offices, when students, political officials, and friends of the dead lighted candles in mourning.
“Few of my friends study at the philosophy faculty at Charles University,” said Kristof Unger, a student. “And they have been really traumatized by the shooting there and I just wanted to make them feel a little bit better.” An additional witness during the vigil, Robert Hanus, emphasized the need for all people to unite in opposition to the assault. He firmly believe that this should not become the norm.
Amidst the multitude of worshippers, Milena Kralickova, rector of the university, was kindling a candle. “The academic community is shaken, deeply shaken,” according to her. On Friday, authorities announced that three foreign nationals were among the twenty-five individuals injured when a student at a Prague university opened fire, killing fourteen people before taking his own life.
According to a spokeswoman from the State Department who talked with CBS News on Thursday evening, the agency is currently “not aware of any U.S. citizens injured or killed at this time” about the attack. The 14 victims of Thursday’s incident have been identified, according to Interior Minister Vit Rakusan, who stated that police in Prague worked overnight.
Among the deceased was Lenka Hlávková, Director of the Institute of Music Sciences, according to the institute. The Czech Foreign Ministry has verified that two individuals from the UAE and one from the Netherlands were among the three injured foreign nationals.
According to Prague Police Chief Martin Vondrasek, the 24-year-old gunman was a student at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts when the massacre occurred. The gunman committed suicide on the university building’s balcony as police officers approached him, according to Petr Matejcek, director of the Prague police regional headquarters. No one knows who the shooter is.
A higher death toll is possible, according to authorities. On Friday morning, individuals could be seen gathering at the vigil outside the university offices, even though the area surrounding the shooting site remained sealed off by the police.
Schools and other “soft targets” (public places that aren’t very hard to guard) have had their security measures increased, according to the police. This was done as a preventative step. The university’s governing board has also pledged to collaborate with law enforcement to enhance campus safety through the implementation of additional preventative measures.
No information regarding the victims or the possible reason behind the shooting at the building has been disclosed by the police. Authorities are not looking into any possible ties to extremist ideology or groups, according to Rakusan’s statement on Thursday. Authorities stated their belief that the shooter operated independently.
According to Chief Vondrasek of the Czech Republic’s police force, the man was intending to kill himself and his father in Hostoun, his birthplace located to the west of Prague, early on Thursday. Additionally, he mentioned that on December 15 in Prague, a man and his 2-month-old daughter were murdered by an armed individual.
According to the police, the gunman was well armed throughout the attack and had legal possession of many firearms. The United Nations Secretary-General and numerous other world leaders extended their deepest sympathies. In remembrance of the victims, the Czech government has designated Saturday as a national day of mourning.
The deadliest mass shooting in American history occurred in 2015, when a shooter slaughtered eight people in the village of Uhersky Brod in the southeast before taking his own life. One of the earliest educational facilities of Charles University, which was founded in 1348, is the Faculty of Arts.
Jan Palach Square is a popular tourist spot in Prague’s Old Town, and the building where the shooting occurred is situated near the Vltava River. The charming Old Town Square, a popular spot for tourists and home to a Christmas market that draws in hundreds of people every year, is only a short stroll away.
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