In downtown Prague, a solitary shooter caused chaos on Thursday by firing shots in a university building. The tragic event resulted in the death of 14 individuals and left over 20 injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the Czech Republic, according to authorities and the city’s rescue team.
The incident occurred at the philosophy department building of Charles University, according to Prague Police Chief Martin Vondrasek. The perpetrator, who was a student, has also passed away, as reported by authorities. The individual’s identity has not been disclosed.
According to Vondrasek, 25 individuals were harmed and officials cautioned that the number of fatalities may increase. It was previously reported by officials that 15 people had died.
The individual stated in a post on social media that during these challenging times, it is greatly valued and appreciated.
President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, expressed his shock over the events and extended his condolences to the families of the victims.
A representative from the State Department informed CBS News on Thursday evening that there are currently no reports of any American citizens being harmed or killed in the attack.
The incident occurred in a building situated in Jan Palach Square, a bustling tourist spot in Prague’s Old Town, close to the Vltava River. It is within walking distance of the scenic Old Town Square, a popular destination for tourists and currently hosting a well-attended Christmas market.
The authorities evacuated all individuals from the building while the police continued to search the surrounding area, including the balcony, for any potential explosives.
The structure is situated within the square and overlooks a bridge spanning the river, providing a scenic vista of Prague Castle, the residence of the Czech president.
Instead of admiring the famous monument, tourists, students, and others were met with chaos and fear. The bridge was filled with police cars and ambulances blaring their sirens, while officers blocked off the usually busy square.
According to Reuters, a photo was shared on social media by a user showing a group of students crouching on a ledge of a building.
According to Pavel Nedoma, the director of Rudolfinum Gallery nearby, he witnessed a person on a balcony of the building firing a gun while looking out of a window.
Several videos captured individuals being escorted out of the structure while others attempted to conceal themselves near a wall.
The government of Czech Republic scheduled an emergency meeting on Thursday to address the shooting incident.
This report includes contributions from The Associated Press.