A gunman who opened fire at Charles University in Prague on Thursday afternoon killed at least ten people and wounded dozens more, according to emergency services officials in the capital of the Czech Republic. Police officials say the shooting happened at the faculty of arts building on the university campus, which was still holding classes in advance of the Christmas break slated to begin on Saturday.
Authorities haven’t offered any motive for the attack, but report that the killer is no longer a threat.
The governor of the Prague region, Bohuslav Svoboda, said the shooter, so far unidentified, fell from the roof of the university’s faculty of arts building after opening fire on Jan Palach Square, an area of manicured lawns adjacent to the Vltava River that cuts through the Czech capital.
The police said the shooter had been “eliminated,” suggesting he had died, but did not specify how. They also said that the Faculty of Arts building, located in Prague’s Old Town, had been evacuated. The square next to it has been sealed off. Videos posted on social media showed people running away.
As the New York Times reports, shootings of any kind are exceedingly rare in the Czech Republic. In 2021 there were just seven homicides in the country, with a population of 10.5 million. In fact, last November the Washington Post ran an in-depth story on the country’s gun laws, noting that it’s the only country in Europe to recognize the right to keep and bear arms, but highlighting the fact that gun ownership is contingent on passing an extensive test.