Prague university shooting: What we know the day after

A gunman killed 14 people and injured 25 in the Czech Republic’s deadliest shooting.

The Czech Republic has declared a day of mourning after a shooting in the capital city, Prague. World leaders have offered condolences, and police have boosted security in schools and other public facilities.

Here is all you need to know about the shooting:

When and where did the shooting happen?

A student opened fire on Thursday at 3pm (14:00 GMT) at the Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, which sits in a busy tourist area in Prague’s Old Town near sites like the 14th-century Charles Bridge.

The gunman struck the fourth floor of the philosophy department building of the institution located near the Vltava river in Jan Palach Square.

How many people were killed and injured?

The gunman first shot and killed his father in his hometown of Hostoun, just west of Prague, before killing 14 other people in the Czech capital and injuring 25, including three foreign nationals — two from Saudi Arabia and one from the Netherlands — authorities said.

Of the people killed, 13 have been identified. Authorities warned that the death toll could rise.

This is the deadliest mass shooting of its kind in the Czech Republic’s history. Previously, the nation’s worst mass shooting was in 2015 when a gunman opened fire in the southeastern town of Uhersky Brod, killing eight people before fatally shooting himself.

Who was the shooter at Charles University?

The alleged shooter was identified as a 24-year-old student at the university. Authorities said he was a high-achieving student with no prior criminal record.

However, Prague Police Chief Martin Vondrasek said later that based on a search of his home, the alleged gunman was also suspected in the killing of another man and his two-month-old daughter in Prague on December 15.

The suspected gunman died at the scene, according to the interior minister. Authorities are investigating whether he was killed by police or whether he died by suicide.

The shooting was premeditated, the police said. Officers had “unconfirmed information from an account on a social network that he was supposedly inspired” by a mass shooting in Russia this year, they said.

After a search of the suspect’s home, the police said he legally owned several guns and was armed during the attack.

What are the Czech Republic’s gun laws?

Czech firearms legislation recognises the right to “acquire, keep and bear firearms”. In 2021, a constitutional amendment legally guaranteed the right to self-defence with a weapon or the defence of someone else.

To obtain a gun licence, people are required to go through multiple steps, including safe-handling training and testing.

Source: Al Jazeera