| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Several killed in Prague university shooting, shooter ‘eliminated’, police say

A shooter at a Prague university killed several people and injured dozens of others on Thursday before being “eliminated” by police.

Czech police said shortly after 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) that it was responding to a school shooting at Prague’s Jan Palach Square, before reporting it had “eliminated” the shooter.

“The entire building is currently being evacuated and there are several dead and tens of injured at the site,” police said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

An email sent to staff and students at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, seen by Reuters, had said a shooter was in one of its buildings and had told staff to “stay put”.

“Don’t go anywhere, if you’re in the offices, lock them and place furniture in front of the door, turn off the lights,” the email said.

One X user posted a photo of a group of students, hiding crouched on a ledge of the building.

The police have sealed off the square and the area adjacent to the university building, which is located in a busy part of town that has a popular street leading tourists to Old Town Square

“According to preliminary information, the shooter himself should be dead, there are dead and wounded on site, I will not speculate now about the final number,” Interior Minister Vit Rakusan said on Czech Television.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala cancelled his trip to the east of the country and was en route to Prague, he said on X.

Gun crime is relatively rare in the Czech Republic. In December 2019, a 42-year-old gunman killed six people at a hospital waiting room in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava before fleeing and fatally shooting himself, police said.

In 2015, a man fatally shot eight people and then killed himself at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod.

  • Reuters