A gunman opened fire in a classroom building at the University of Palacký in the Czech Republic capital of Prague, killing 14 people and wounding 25 others. The shooter was identified as a student at the university.
The incident occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. local time on December 10. The gunman reportedly was armed with an assault rifle and was dressed in an army costume. He entered a classroom building near the university’s main square and began shooting, before being taken down by police.
The shooting is one of the deadliest attacks to occur in the European Union and the worst in the Czech Republic since a student killed nine people at a high school in 1950.
The motive of the attack is still unclear, though Czech officials have said that it is not linked to terrorism. Police are currently investigating whether the shooter, a 21-year-old student from a nearby city, had any accomplices.
The university was placed on lockdown following the incident while emergency services, including ambulances and fire engines, rushed to the scene. The country’s prime minister, Andrej Babiš, has expressed his deep condolences to the victims and their families as well as the university community.
In the wake of this tragedy, the university and local law enforcement will no doubt examine how they can prevent similar incidents in the future. Mental health awareness and support services for students is likely to be a key part of this process.