At least 15 people were killed, and 30 others sustained serious injuries in a shooting at a top university in Prague after a lone gunman opened fire inside the campus. The gunman shot and killed ten people at Charles University in the center of the city around 3 p.m., according to emergency services.
Young students seeking refuge were found huddled on the scaffolding of the building and were under lockdown in classrooms, as reported by officials. Shortly afterward, authorities confirmed that the shooter had been "eliminated," but there were "several" reported dead and injured victims at the scene. Also, there were no immediate details about the victims or the shooter.
Massage at Prague University
A disturbing image circulated on local media appears to show a man dressed in black aiming a rifle at people below, standing on top of a faculty building. Witnesses reported that the gunman was selectively targeting his victims one by one.
Although police haven't officially identified the shooter social media users identified the gunman as David Kozak. However, there is no official confirmation on this.
The philosophy department of the university, located in Jan Palach Square, was evacuated, as confirmed by Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda.
Sirens blared, and police vehicles surrounded the campus building, as shown in panicked scenes captured by onlookers on social media videos, with people attempting to flee the area.
"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," journalist Jakob Weizman wrote on X alongside a photo of the darkened classroom where he was sheltering.
"Locked the door before the shooter tried to open it. F–king hell," he regretted.
The director of a gallery located in the square reported to Czech television that he saw a man firing a gun toward the nearby Manes bridge.
Another social media user posted a striking photo depicting what seemed to be students desperately huddling on the scaffolding of the university building.
"Suddenly I heard shooting," one witness told a Czech news outlet, according to the BBC.
"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," Targ Patience, a British-Australian who was staying in a flat near the scene, told the outlet.
Panic Across Campus
Police later said that they killed the gunman after a tactical operation to storm the building. Authorities are actively working to evacuate those who were trapped inside. "The gunman was eliminated!!!" police said on X, formerly Twitter. "The building is currently being evacuated and there are several dead and dozens of wounded people on the scene."
Extraordinary images show the gunman, clad in black, standing on the roof of the faculty building, aiming his rifle equipped with a scope at people below.
Petr Nedoma, the director of the Rudolfinum, a concert hall on the square opposite the Faculty of Arts, told Czech broadcaster CT24: "Upstairs on the walkway of the Faculty of Arts, I saw a man standing with a gun in his hand and shooting towards the Mánes bridge with certain delays.
"I watched what was happening from inside the Rudolfinum for a long time. I stayed in the building and was by the windows for as much cover as possible."
"Then he put his hands up and threw the gun toward the road, it remained lying by the philosophy faculty. Then a lot of people appeared upstairs, I don't know if it was the police," Nedoma added.
"I left the window and watched the police evacuate people from the Faculty of Philosophy, taking them away with their hands behind their heads in different directions, a large number of cars, people running around."
An email sent to Charles University staff advised faculty members to "stay put" while the investigation was ongoing.