The Czech Republic woke up in mourning this Friday after the most serious shooting in the country’s recent history. On a rainy morning, with temperatures hovering around zero degrees, dozens of people placed candles outside the headquarters of Charles University in central Prague, in memory of the fatal victims of the young man who broke into the philosophy faculty on Thursday. and letters. The attacker, a 24-year-old student identified as Dadid K., killed 14 people and injured 25 others hours after killing his father in Hostoun, near the town of Kladno.
During the search of the family home, evidence was found linking the perpetrator of the attack, who died during the police operation, to the deaths of two other people. They are a 35-year-old man and his daughter, a two-month-old baby, also victims of a shooting last week in the Klánovice forest, in the Prague district. Police are carrying out ballistic tests to confirm whether their suspicions are founded. The attacker held licenses for eight weapons, including two long guns.
Investigators have already identified all the deaths. The number of injured, according to health authorities, is stable. Among them are two people from the United Arab Emirates and one from the Netherlands. Some are in serious condition and one of them is critical. In addition to medical care, dozens of people are receiving psychological help due to the impact of the event.
Stories of witnesses and survivors are beginning to emerge in local media. Like that of a student, who was part of the group who tried to take refuge on the edge of the faculty building. According to what he said on Czech radio and collect Novinky, this young woman was in class when they heard gunshots. “We thought it was someone having fun in the hallway, and then a gunshot came through the door. “We hid under tables as best we could,” he said.
According to his account, the attacker immediately returned and began to break down the door. The students fled through the window. “We were on the fourth floor, so we ran up to the roof and crawled along the ledge in the corner. “There was a terrace below us,” he continued. They squatted for a long time until someone told them that the attacker had also come out of the window.
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Then they jumped onto the third floor terrace, broke the window, entered the building and ran down the stairs. For the majority, this escape caused bruises and some fractures. “But someone fell off the ledge into the street,” according to the young woman.
Among the victims of the attack were students and staff of the university. The attacker, after leaving the building located on the fourth floor, shot and injured three people in the street. When he was surrounded by police, he committed suicide, Petr Matejcek, director of the regional police headquarters, said at a press conference on Friday.
“I was in the building during the attack. What I saw in the corridors, the ammunition reserves, it was incredible. “If the attacker had not been cornered, it would have been much worse,” Matejcek said, after showing a recording made with the cameras on the uniforms of the police officers who entered the faculty. According to what was declared, between 220 and 230 agents participated in the operation.
Prague is experiencing a day of mourning after an afternoon and night in which many people worked hard to track down friends and acquaintances to see if they were okay. At an extraordinary government meeting Thursday evening with President Petr Pavel, they declared Saturday an official day of mourning. On this day, a religious funeral will take place at 11 a.m. in St. Vitus Cathedral.
Police have announced more security measures in recent days, including what they call soft targets, which refer to places with high influxes of people and educational centers. According to local media, more uniformed officers are already visible on the streets, carrying long weapons. Police recorded a call Thursday evening from a person saying they were going to follow the attacker’s example, and who has already been identified and arrested.
The university, which felt vulnerable after the attack, called for increased security measures on Thursday. The Minister of the Interior announced that preventive measures would be taken at least until January 1. But Prague’s educational centers are not the only ones waking up traumatized. Universities across the country are announcing initiatives to increase security, such as Palacký in Olomouc, where police will monitor more than 70 university buildings.
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