Czech police tighten security after 14 people shot dead at Prague university
The 24-year shooter died on Thursday at the university building, possibly after killing himself or by a police bullet
Prague — Czech police tightened security around schools and other public buildings across the country and Prague’s Charles University cancelled all lectures and events on Friday after a student shooter killed 14 people at a university building on Thursday.
The shooting was the worst-ever such event in the central European country where many hold guns, some of them sports or hunting rifles, but multiple shootings are rare.
People have been lighting candles outside the university’s medieval downtown headquarters since Thursday evening, and leaders of the nation’s universities planned to pay respects there later on Friday morning.
“Starting today we have adopted countrywide preventive measures in relation to soft targets and schools,” police said on social network X, previously known as Twitter.
“We do not have information about any concrete threat... this is a signal we are here and prepared.”
Interior minister Vit Rakusan said on Czech Radio that 13 of the 14 victims had been identified. The ministry said two UAE citizens and one Dutch person were among the injured.
The authorities provided no fresh information on the condition of those wounded in the attack.
The 24-year shooter died on Thursday at the university building, possibly after killing himself or by a police bullet, police said.
Police said on Thursday the man, who had a gun licence and a clean criminal record, was a student at the Charles University’s Faculty of Arts where the shooting took place.
They said the suspect, whom they asked not to be named, had killed his father at home outside Prague before travelling to the capital.
Police had information he intended to kill himself and were searching for him at another university building where he was due to attend a lecture.
But the shooter instead went to the main Faculty of Arts building, on a busy square across the river from the Prague Castle and just hundreds of metres from the Old Town Square, one of Europe's major tourist attractions.
The government declared Saturday a national day of mourning.
Police president Martin Vondrasek said on Thursday police were looking into unverified information on the shooter’s possible connection with a social media account citing inspiration by a mass shooting in Russia but there has been no confirmation of that.
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