Charles University in Prague, the Czech Republic's venerable institution, became the site of a mass shooting on Thursday, resulting in the deaths of 15 individuals, including the perpetrator, and injuring around two dozen others.
The assailant, reported as a student of the university by the Associated Press, was subsequently "eliminated" by law enforcement, as confirmed by Prague's Police Chief.
Authorities are currently conducting a thorough search of the vicinity, particularly the philosophy department of Charles University, for any potential explosives that the assailant may have left behind.
Earlier, Prague’s rescue service indicated the gravity of the situation on X, detailing the casualties and the varying degrees of injuries sustained by the victims, writing "11 dead including the attacker, 9 seriously injured, 5-6 moderately seriously injured, [and] up to 10 slightly injured,” Fox News reported.
The university's philosophy department was promptly evacuated, as stated by Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda, highlighting the immediate response to the unfolding crisis.
An urgent communication was sent to Charles University staff and students during the incident, as reported by Reuters, instructing them to secure themselves by locking offices and barricading doors as a precautionary measure against the ongoing threat.
Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan, while confirming that no additional shooters were present at the scene, called for the public to cooperate with the ongoing police operations. An eyewitness account by Pavel Nedoma, director of the nearby Rudolfinum Gallery, described a harrowing scene of the shooter firing towards Manes bridge over the Vltava River.
This incident is notably rare for the Czech Republic, where gun crime is typically uncommon. Reuters noted that the last major incidents occurred in 2019 where a shooter claimed six lives in Ostrava's hospital waiting room and a 2015 tragedy with eight victims at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod.