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Gunman’s Rampage Leaves 14 Dead and 25 Injured in Prague Mass Shooting

Footage shared on social media captured people escaping from exterior ledges.

Czech police are intensifying efforts to determine the motive behind the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history, which unfolded at Charles University in central Prague. The assailant, identified as 24-year-old student David Kozak, opened fire on Thursday, killing 14 people and injuring 25 others.

The shooting began around 15:00 local time at the Faculty of Arts building, where the gunman indiscriminately fired in corridors and classrooms. Footage shared on social media captured people escaping from exterior ledges, highlighting the chaos and panic that ensued during the rampage.

Police revealed that the assailant, who had no prior criminal record, had a “huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition.” Before the attack, a report was received that Kozak was heading to Prague from a nearby town with suicidal intentions.

Czech President Petr Pavel has called for unity and cautioned against using the tragedy for political attacks or spreading misinformation. Saturday has been declared a national day of mourning to honor the victims, who include the gunman’s father.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala expressed shock at the “horrendous act” and struggled to find words to convey both condemnation and the sorrow felt by society. Flags will fly at half-mast on public buildings, and a minute’s silence will be observed at midday on Saturday.

Police evacuated a different university building based on reports that the suspect might attend a lecture there. However, a short time later, they responded to the unfolding incident at the Faculty of Arts building. The gunman, suspected in the killing of a young man and his two-month-old daughter in a forest on the outskirts of Prague, was “eliminated” by the police.

Czech authorities are examining unconfirmed information suggesting that the attack may have been inspired by a similar incident in Russia. The assailant had also reportedly posted about the attack on social media.

The shooting at Charles University marks one of the deadliest mass shootings by a lone gunman in Europe this century. As the country grapples with this tragedy, citizens and leaders alike are left in mourning, emphasizing the need for unity and resilience in the face of such senseless violence.

Kiki Garba

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