External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed deep sorrow following the tragic shooting incident at Prague’s Charles University. In a heartfelt post on X, he extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
“Saddened by the news of the shooting incident at Prague’s Charles University. Deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” posted EAM Jaishankar.
As many as 14 people were killed and 25 wounded in a shooting at a university in Prague on December 21.
Saddened by the news of the shooting incident at Prague's Charles University. Deepest condolences to the families of the victims.@JanLipavsky
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) December 22, 2023
In a press conference on December 21, Czech Police Chief Martin Vondrasek said the information he had received so far indicated the shooter took his own life, but added it was not yet confirmed. He also said the suspect had not been formally identified because of the severity of his injuries.
In a later news conference on December 21 night, Vondrasek revised the number of people killed to 14, after previously saying 15 people had died. Of the 25 people injured, ten were in serious condition, the police chief said.
Emergency services earlier said that nine people had been severely injured, five or six received medium-severe injuries and ten were lightly injured. The authorities have also revised down an earlier number of people injured, but said those could still change given the developing situation.
During the shooting, some students locked themselves in classrooms, the police said in an update on X. A picture shared on social media also showed several students hiding on a ledge high up the building.
The incident – at the Faculty of Arts building of Charles University – happened in the center of the capital. The area is popular with tourists and close to major attractions, just across the Vltava River from Prague Castle.
The university was holding classes on December 21, and was due to go on Christmas break on December 23, according to a schedule on the university’s website.
Vondrasek said the suspected shooter was a 24-year-old male who travelled to Prague from his hometown village of Hostoun. Vondrasek said the suspected shooter was a student of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague.
According to the police chief, the authorities had information about the shooter prior to the incident, saying the police received a tip saying the shooter was travelling to Prague with the intention to take his own life. Shortly afterward, they received information that a deceased man was found in Hostoun. The man is believed to be the suspect’s father.
Vondrasek said the police were aware the shooter had a lecture at 2 pm CET and therefore evacuated the building where the lecture was meant to take place. However, the police then received a call about a shooting in a different building, according to the police chief.
The suspected shooter had a gun permit and owned several weapons, Vondrasek said.
According to CNN, the Czech Republic has relatively liberal gun laws compared to the rest of the European Union. To obtain a gun legally, a person needs an official firearm licence, which requires a medical examination, a weapon proficiency exam and no previous criminal record.
(with inputs from ANI)