A mass shooting at Charles University in Prague has left at least 10 people dead and dozens injured, Czech authorities said, adding that the gunman had been “eliminated.”
Prague's rescue service confirmed the death of 11 people, including the shooter. It said about 30 others sustained various injuries, with nine of them categorized as serious.
The shooting took place at the Faculty of Arts building on Jan Palach Square in the center of Prague near the Old Town, a major tourist hotspot. Police have cordoned off the square and the surrounding area. People are being evacuated from the building.
“The shooter has been eliminated!!! The entire building is currently being evacuated and there are several dead and dozens of injured on the scene,” the police said on the X social network on Thursday afternoon.
“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,” said an email sent to staff at the university, seen by Reuters.
The shooter managed to reach the roof of the building, with multiple photographs showing students and teachers hiding from the assailant on ledges.
People hiding from the shooter on building ledges
Source: Seznam Zpravy
“We barricaded ourselves in an office, but we have no idea what is going on. We were having a seminar, suddenly someone said there was someone with a gun in the building, we barricaded ourselves and are waiting. A shot could be heard,” a student who was in the building at the time of the shooting told local publication Seznam Zpravy.
A Sezman Zpravy reporter who was present on the scene said that he heard at least 10 shots being fired.
Another student tweeted a photo of a classroom door barricaded with desks and chairs.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala called off his scheduled trip to the eastern part of the country and is en route to Prague, as reported on X.
As noted by Reuters, gun crime is relatively rare in the Czech Republic. In December 2019, a 42-year-old gunman killed six people in a hospital waiting room in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava before fleeing and taking his own life, according to police.
In 2015, a man shot and killed eight people before taking his own life at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod.