A devastating incident occurred on a recent Thursday at a university in Prague, where an armed student set upon the campus, resulting in the death of at least 15 individuals and injuring 30 more. The catastrophe unfolded at the Arts Faculty of Charles University, located close to the historic heart of the Czech Republic capital, a place often frequented by tourists. Amid the dreadful event, students sought safety wherever they could, resulting in scenes of them huddled within classrooms under lockdown and finding refuge on the building’s scaffolds, according to official reports.
Details of the incident were promptly reported by Prague police via X. The police and other forces were quick to react, and soon after, the confirmation was made that the perpetrator had been neutralized. An unsettling uncertainty, however, continued to loom with the statement of ‘several’ casualties, both dead and injured, within the university grounds.
As the dust settled, authorities began piecing together the details of the shooter. The alleged gunman was soon identified as David Kozák, with initial reports suggesting his involvement in another violent death incident in the village of Kladensko prior to the university shooting. Local Czech news source Novinky.cz first broke the story of Kozák’s possible involvement.
Adding an eerie twist into the narrative, it was observed from a set of circulated social media images that a man resembling Kozák was seen wielding a large weapon on the university roof just before the shooting. The reports added weight to the claims linking him to the unfortunate event, further indicating his possible role in the incident.
Digging into Kozák’s background, it was revealed that he was registered as a student at the philosophy department in Jan Palach Square, Charles University. It was this very location where the tragic shooting occurred and the subsequent evacuation operation was launched. This discovery provided a clearer picture of the situation and helped authorities in understanding the sequence of events.
Further adding to the difficulty of the situation, a scan of social media unearthed a series of disturbing messages from an account under Kozák’s name. Posted in the days leading up to the shooting, one of these posts read, ‘I hate the world and want to leave as much pain as possible.’ The chilling posts reflected a disturbed mind, setting a concerning backdrop for the incident at Charles University.
Scrutinizing the Telegram account linked to Kozák offered further insights into his mindset. A particularly unsettling post, from Dec. 19, stated, ‘I have a ringing in my ears … like some kind of f–king fireflies. I wanted to rip my ears out.’ These disconcerting messages gave a glimpse into the shooter’s mental state leading up to the horrific event.
While the shooter had been neutralized, the calamity was far from over. There were ongoing reports of authorities scouring the university’s balconies for potential explosives, creating an ambiance of far-reaching tension and fear. Detailed information on the victims or the perpetrator was yet to surface.
The University was quick to secure its premises, particularly the philosophy department in Jan Palach Square, from which the students were speedily evacuated, as informed by Svoboda. The Prague police issued an advisory for citizens to avoid the site of the incident and to remain indoors until the situation was deemed safe.
Following the grim ordeal, a firsthand account shared by Jakob Weizman, a journalist present during the incident, described the chilling situation from within his locked-down classroom: ‘Shooter is dead, but we are waiting to be evacuated. Praying to make it out alive.’ His ominous message accompanied an image of the dimly lit classroom where he was secured.
Throughout the terrifying scenario, the university administration stayed diligent, communicating with the staff via email. They were instructed to ‘stay put’ while the law enforcement continued their investigation on the premises.
One witness recounted their experience on social media. ‘I am OK. I was in the library when the shooting started. They directed us to the rear of the computer lab, a windowless area,’ they shared, portraying the grim circumstances endured. As news of the shooter’s death spread, people contacted their families and friends to assure them of their safety.
The effect of the havoc was not restricted to the university premises. The incident reached as far as the nation’s leadership, causing Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to halt all scheduled events. Within an hour, he was on his way to Prague.