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regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

Czech Republic mourns death of victims in worst mass shooting at Prague University

Archbishop Jan Graubner served a mass at the main St Vitus cathedral at the Prague Castle and the country observed a minute of silence at noon

Reuters Prague Published 24.12.23, 05:21 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

Bells rang across the Czech Republic on Saturday and flags flew at half mast as the country mourned victims of the country’s worst mass shooting that killed 14 at a Prague university on Thursday.

Archbishop Jan Graubner served a mass at the main St Vitus cathedral at the Prague Castle and the country observed a minute of silence at noon, with people stopping in streets amid heavy rain and snow, and in malls during Christmas shopping.

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A 24-year-old student went on a shooting rampage at the Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in downtown Prague on Thursday, killing students and lecturers before shooting himself as a police squad closed in on him at the top of the school’s building.

Relatives, friends and colleagues shared condolences on social networks. More than 25 people were taken to hospitals.

Mourners kept bringing candles and flowers to memorials outside the Faculty of Arts as well as the Charles University’s headquarters nearby in the city centre.

“We are from a very small city, near Prague, from Louny and one of our, not friends, but neighbours in our city died here,” said Vlasta Roflik. “She was a professor, music professor. It’s very sad. Sorry.” Vera Eliaskova said her friend was at the school during the shooting.

“She was directly on the fourth floor. Her colleague ran to her door and told her to lock herself and cover ... She covered under the table,” she said. “I saw her yesterday and felt sorry for her. She was still shaking.”

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