OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:47 AM – Thursday, December 21, 2023
A student opened fire on Thursday at a university in Prague. Frightened students were huddled outside the building’s outdoor ledge, and the rest were under lockdown in classrooms while seeking shelter.
Authorities stated that at least 15 people were killed and 30 more were injured.
The Prague police said on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, that the shooting occurred at the Faculty of Arts building of Charles University. The location is close to the major tourist site known as Old Town in the Czech Republic capital.
According to the Czech news site Novinky.cz, the gunman was identified as David Kozák, 24. He may possibly be connected to another incident in which there was a violent killing that occurred in the town of Kladensko prior to the university shooting.
In two photos that are currently going viral on social media platforms, a man who looked very similar to Kozák was spotted carrying a large firearm on the university’s roof.
Witnesses also mentioned seeing him before calling the police.
“I looked out of my balcony and saw the police arrive. A few officers were having a hard time stopping people walking towards the scene,” said Targ Patience, a British-Australian who was staying in an apartment near the scene, told the outlet.
According to the outlet, Kozák was a student at Charles University’s philosophy department at Jan Palach Square, which was the scene of the shooting and the center of the evacuation operations.
Unsettling messages like “I hate the world and want to leave as much pain as possible” were published by Kozák on December 17th on a Telegram account. However, it is worth noting that there is a possibility the account could be registered to another individual with the same first and last name.
“I have a ringing in my ears… like some kind of f–king fireflies. I wanted to rip my ears out,” read another post from the same account on December 19th.
Bohuslav Svoboda, the mayor of Prague, announced that the philosophy department—which is housed in Jan Palach Square—had been cleared by security personnel.
According to reports, authorities are still looking for explosives on the building’s balconies.
Social media footage showed police cars and sirens around the college building as bystanders ran away in fear.
“We urge citizens not to stay in the immediate vicinity and not to leave the house,” the Prague police insisted.
“Currently stuck inside my classroom in Prague. Shooter is dead, but we are waiting to be evacuated. Praying to make it out alive,” said journalist Jakob Weizman on X (Twitter).
He also posted an attached image of a dark classroom where he was hiding.
“Locked the door before the shooter tried to open it. F–king hell,” he continued.
Staff members at Charles University received an email cautioning them to “stay put” while the inquiry was going on.
“I am OK. I was in the library at the time of the shooting. They sent us to the back of the computer lab where there are no windows,” one witness said on social media.
“Word has now spread that the gunman is dead. We all call and reply to family and friends that we are ok.”
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala reportedly canceled his planned activities and left for Prague within an hour after the attack.
*UPDATE: Shooter’s image and age has been posted above.*