On Saturday, the Czech Republic paid homage to the 14 lives lost in the tragic shooting at Prague’s Charles University earlier this week, marking the country’s deadliest attack of its kind. The government called for a nationwide minute of silence at noon, accompanied by lowered flags and memorial services.
The sorrowful event unfolded when a 24-year-old student opened fire on the campus before taking his own life, leaving 13 dead on the day of the attack, with another victim succumbing to injuries on Friday. An additional 25 people sustained injuries in the incident.
Students lit thousands of candles at impromptu memorials outside the Faculty of Arts and the main building of Charles University in the historic heart of Prague. The identities of the victims, including students and faculty members, began to emerge as their families and the university shared the heartbreaking news.
Among the deceased are Jan Dlask, an expert in Finnish literature, and student Lucie Spindlerova. The injured include three foreigners, a Dutch national, and two individuals from the United Arab Emirates.
While expressing condolences, Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan indicated that there are signs suggesting a potential link to “international terrorism.” Since Thursday, the police have detained four individuals who either threatened similar attacks or expressed approval of the massacre.
In response to the tragedy, the Interior Minister announced heightened police surveillance at various locations and educational institutions, at least until January 1. Police Chief Martin Vondrasek emphasized that the assailant possessed an “enormous arsenal of weapons and ammunition,” raising concerns about the scale of the potential threat.