Prague shooting: Gunman 'eliminated' after killing 14 at university

Prime Minister Petr Fiala cancels planned events and heads for Prague

Gunman kills more than a dozen people at university in Prague

Gunman kills more than a dozen people at university in Prague
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A gunman in central Prague killed at least 14 people and wounded about 20 others, Czech police said on Thursday.

Police also said the suspect, a student at the faculty of arts at Charles University, was “eliminated” after officers were sent to Jan Palach Square in the city's famous Old Town.

Pavel Nedoma, director of Rudolfinum Gallery, which is located in the square, said he saw a gunman firing towards the nearby Manes Bridge across the Vltava River.

“I saw a young person on the gallery who had some weapon in his hand, like an automatic weapon, and shooting toward the Manes Bridge,” he said.

“Repeatedly, with some interruptions, then I saw as he shot, put [his] hands up and threw the weapon down on the street. It lay there on the pedestrian crossing.”

Officers sealed off Jan Palach Square and evacuated the philosophy department building of Charles University, which is where the shooting took place.

Lara, a student, said: “It was terribly scary, there were a lot of policemen everywhere, who were shouting at us with submachine guns, telling us to run outside.”

The police department said the square has been sealed off. They are searching the area, including the balconies of buildings, for possible explosives.

“The gunman was eliminated,” police said on X, formerly Twitter. “The building is currently being evacuated and there are several dead and dozens of wounded people on the scene.”

They have released no details about the victims. Police said the father of the gunman has been found dead.

Czech President Petr Pavel said he was “shocked” by the violence and expressed “deep regret and sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the victims”.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the “lone gunman … wasted many lives of mostly young people”.

“There is no justification for this horrendous act,” he added.

Charles University had told staff to “stay put” and lock all doors after reports of the shooting at one of its buildings.

“Stay put, don't go anywhere, if you're in the offices, lock them and place furniture in front of the door, turn off the lights,” said an email to staff at the philosophy faculty of Charles University.

The philosophy department of Charles University, which is located at the square, has been evacuated, Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda said later.

Interior Minister Vit Rakusan said “no other gunman has been confirmed”.

“There is no indication that this crime has any link to international terrorism,” the interior minister added. “It's a horrible crime, something the Czech Republic has never experienced.”

Nova TV reported a blast and a gunman on the roof of the building in Prague's historic centre.

Police closed the area and asked people living nearby to stay inside.

Updated: December 22, 2023, 1:57 PM