A shooting at Charles University in the Czech Republic's capital of Prague on Thursday has left at least 15 people dead and around two dozen injured, officials say.

Police said during a press conference that the suspect in the mass killing, who is dead, was a student at the university and that his father was found dead as well. The bloodshed unfolded in the university's philosophy department, where the gunman was a student. 

The suspect has not been publicly identified, but police said there is no indication at this time that the shooting was connected to any terrorist organization. Police have completed a search for explosives in the area and no officers were injured in their response.

The governor of the Prague region, Bohuslav Svoboda, said the shooter died after falling from the roof of a building, according to the New York Times. 

Prague shooting

Police officers secure an area after a shooting in downtown Prague, Czech Republic, on Thursday, Dec. 21. (AP/Petr David Josek)

"We always thought that this was a thing that did not concern us. Now it turns out that, unfortunately, our world is also changing and the problem of the individual shooter is emerging here as well," Svoboda was quoted by Reuters as telling the public broadcaster Czech Television.

Authorities warned that more shooting victims could die.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting were not immediately clear. Videos circulating on X appear to show students attempting to hide from the gunfire on the balcony of a building.

First responders at scene of Prague shooting

Paramedics load a stretcher into an ambulance van at the location of the shooting on Thursday, Dec. 21, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)

An email sent to staff and students at Charles University said the shooter was inside one of its buildings, according to Reuters.


"Don't go anywhere, if you're in the offices, lock them and place furniture in front of the door, turn off the lights," the email reportedly said.

Prague shooting police response

A police officer secures a street after a shooting in downtown Prague, Czech Republic, on Thursday, Dec. 21. (AP/Petr David Josek)

One of the students who police evacuated from the Charles University building where the shooting happened told news website iDnes.cz: "It was terribly scary, there were a lot of policemen everywhere, who were shouting at us with submachine guns, telling us to run outside," Reuters reports. 


Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan said there was no other shooter at the scene, but he urged people to cooperate with police. 

Pavel Nedoma, the director of the nearby Rudolfinum Gallery, told Czech public television he saw from a window a person who was shooting from a gun toward the nearby Manes bridge across the Vltava River. 

Prague shooting response

Police officers stand on the balcony of Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in downtown Prague following the shooting Thursday. (AP/Petr David Josek)

Prague Police Chief Martin Vondrasek said police believe the gunman killed his father earlier Thursday in his hometown of Hostoun, just west of Prague, and that he had also been planning to kill himself. He didn't elaborate.

Later Thursday, Vondrasek said that based on a search of his home, the gunman was also suspected in the killing of another man and his 2-month-old daughter Dec. 15, in the east of Prague.

The chief described the shooter as an excellent student with no criminal record, but didn't provide any other information.


The gunman suffered "devastating injuries" but it wasn't clear if he killed himself or was shot to death in an exchange of gunfire with officers, Vondrasek said, adding that there was "nothing to suggest that he had an accomplice."

The shooter legally owned several guns — police said he was heavily armed Thursday and was carrying a lot of ammunition — and that what he did was "well-thought-out, a horrible act," Vondrasek said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, "We are aware of the terrible shooting that took place at Charles University in Prague, claiming the lives of at least 15 people and injuring dozens more. The president and the first lady are praying for the families who lost loved ones and everyone else who has been affected by this senseless act of violence on behalf of the United States. 

Czech Shooting

A police officer guards a street after a shooting in downtown Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023.  (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

"We send our condolences and also wish the survivors of this tragic event a speedy recovery," Jean-Pierre added at Thursday's White House press briefing. "Federal authorities are in touch with Czech authorities as they investigate this incident. And we stand ready to provide additional support as needed."

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the United States "is deeply saddened by the tragic mass shooting at Charles University in Prague." 

"We offer our sympathies to the victims, their families, and the Czech people in this difficult time. We stand in solidarity, ready to support," he said. 

University authorities said they would tighten security in university buildings with immediate effect. The Czech government planned to meet later Thursday for an emergency session to discuss the shooting.


Reuters reports that gun crime is uncommon in the Czech Republic, saying that in December 2019, a 42-year-old shooter killed six people at a hospital waiting room in the city of Ostrava and in 2015, a gunman killed eight people at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.