Europe Student kills at least 15 people and wounds dozens at Prague university

With a bloodbath

Europe Student kills at least 15 people and wounds dozens at Prague university

With a bloodbath. This is how Christmas starts in the Czech Republic. A shooting at the Faculty of Philosophy of Charles University, in the center of Prague, has left 15 dead, including the attacker, 24 injured and scenes of panic in what has been the worst shooting in the history of this country.

Interior Minister Vít Rakusan has indicated that "there are no indications that this crime is related to international terrorism." And yet there is no relief. The tragedy has brought mourning to many families, fear has permeated the population and the rectors have asked to reinforce security measures on campuses.

The Police are working with the version that the perpetrator of the massacre is a 24-year-old student identified as David K, a graduate in History-European Studies and a master's degree student in History. Hours before that massacre, the young man allegedly killed his father in the town of Hostoun, in the Kladno region, and then planted a homemade bomb, which failed.

In fact, the Central Bohemian police warned the Prague police that the young man, armed and dangerous, fled to the capital with the intention of causing a river of blood to flow and then committing suicide. He announced it himself on Telegram: "I want to shoot at the Faculty and maybe commit suicide, Alina Afanaskina helped me a lot. I always wanted to kill, I thought that in the future I would become a maniac. So, when Alina was shooting, I realized that It was much more profitable to carry out mass murders, not serial ones. I was sitting... I waited... I dreamed... I wanted... but Alina became the straw that broke the camel's back. She came to rescue me just in time , as if heaven had sent her," reads a Telegram post, whose authenticity has not been verified.

Afanaskina was the 14-year-old Russian who was involved in a shooting at a school in Bryansk on the 7th, causing the death of two children and then committed suicide.

The terror began around 3:00 p.m., when the first shots were heard on the fourth floor of the Faculty of Philosophy, according to a member of the teaching staff. Then panic broke out. According to the available images, David K ​​entered the Faculty, gun in hand. It was an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle that can be legally accessed by gun license holders.

According to faculty spokesperson Tereza Marková, faculty and students were ordered to lock themselves in their offices and classrooms, but many climbed out of the windows and clung to the windowsills, others fled to the roof, and others barricaded themselves. One of the witnesses to the shooting was second-year philosophy student Jasmina Iánková, who was in the vicinity of the faculty at the time of the attack. "Most people managed to barricade themselves in the classrooms or toilets following the instructions of the police. Gunshots were clearly heard from outside, but apparently not inside the building. Most of the students thought that someone was fixing something. We counted 12 shots fired before the police chased us from the street to the cafeteria," he said.

She was having lunch 50 meters from the faculty at the time of the attack. Her next class was scheduled for 3:50 p.m., and she said the first gunshot was heard shortly after 3:00 p.m. The police responded very quickly, which would confirm reports from some local media outlets that a chase was already underway.

The images that a witness has shared on

"I saw several students running away with their hands above their heads, several men carrying people who had been shot in their arms. The police evacuated people from the building. People were walking away or waiting for their friends in the nearby businesses. The street was chaos," Iánková described. Several of her friends were on campus, most of them safe. She waited for them in an adjacent cafeteria. "At 3:13 p.m., my friend sent me a message saying that he was locked in the bathroom and hiding. He suffers from anxiety and is now completely devastated. I am still shaking, thinking about the victims, the injured and what they have been through," story.

Student Albta Pecháková added a similar testimony: "We were locked in a classroom. We heard gunshots, but rather from a distance; it sounded like drumming. Then the police came and told us we could leave. There was blood all over the hallways and in front of the building. "he declared.

"It was terribly scary. They almost shot us, we had to hide, witnesses say," says another student. "They told us that we couldn't leave the library and that we were locked in. After a while they sent us to the back, where there are no windows. Several times we heard gunshots and loud bangs, as if a door was being kicked. There is a sensation of concern, but fortunately no one panicked. We started sending messages to friends and family like crazy.

A witness told the news website iDnes.cz that they got off at the tram stop next to the school and "suddenly heard gunshots." Videos shared on social networks show people running away.

Shortly before the attack, Dalibor Míka went to the neighboring building, which houses the Museum of Decorative Arts. "I arrived 10 minutes before the shots were heard. About 10 muffled shots were heard, it seemed like they were coming from the street. At first I didn't pay attention, but then I saw the riot police through the street window. The police closed the Jana Palacha square and the trams stopped working," he declared.

He said museum security guards had been instructed to lock down the building, including the people inside. They didn't start letting them out until after five in the afternoon. "They let me enter through a side entrance and told me to go towards the Faculty of Law. On the way I was stopped by one of the riot police who was looking for witnesses to the shooting," explains Míka.

While the city center was deafening with sirens, the police cordoned off Jana Palacha Square and its surroundings, including the famous Charles Bridge, the city's landmark over the Vltava River. Special forces, including the Rapid Deployment Unit, were taking up positions.

"A large number of rescue teams and doctors and an inspector are intervening at the scene of the shooting. Unfortunately, the coroner is also heading to the scene. We have confirmed dead units and a large number of injured. The spectrum of injuries is wide, from very serious to moderate and mild," said the paramedics during the intervention.

Hospitals prepared to receive the wounded. The Central Military Hospital activated the second level of the trauma room, while Charles Square University General Hospital and Bulovka University Hospital treated the gunshot wounds.

Shortly before 4:00 p.m. it was reported that "the shooter had been eliminated." It was later learned that, before being shot by police officers, he had taken his own life.

After 5:15 p.m., the police said they had already evacuated the entire faculty building. "A search for explosives is currently underway," a spokesman said.

Today's shooting in Prague is the most tragic attack in the history of the Czech Republic in terms of fatalities. In the Uherský Brod shooting, eight people were killed in 2015. And six people lost their lives in a hospital shooting in Ostrava in 2019.

Shocked by what happened, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) canceled his work program in the Olomouc region and returned to Prague. Education Minister Mikulá Bek, who was also away from the capital, returned immediately. President Petr Pavel, who was visiting France, brought forward his return to meet with state security forces. "I am shocked by the events at the Faculty of Letters of the Carolina University. I want to express my deep regret and condolences to the families and relatives of the victims of the shooting. I want to thank the citizens for respecting the instructions of the security forces. security and offer maximum cooperation," Pavel said.

The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, has canceled the events on his agenda and has headed to Prague. The president, Petr Pavel, expressed his shock in a message on the social network X, formerly Twitter. "I am shocked by these events...I would like to express my deep regret and deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the shooting," he wrote.

Indiscriminate shootings are not frequent in the Czech Republic. "We have always thought that this was something that did not concern us. Now it turns out that, unfortunately, our world is also changing and here too the problem of the individual shooter arises," Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda told Czech television.

The President of the European Commissioner, Ursula von der Leyen, was shocked by the senseless violence and expressed her condolences to the families of the victims and the Czech nation. The Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, and the French Emmanuel Macron, have also expressed their condolences for what happened, among other leaders.