Shooting in Philosophy Building at Charles University in Prague (updated)


Eleven people were killed and approximately 30 more injured in a shooting that took place at Charles University in Prague, in the building that houses the university’s Department of Philosophy. The shooter is dead.

The shooting took place this afternoon in the downtown Prague building on Jan Palach Square, according to multiple news outlets. The philosophy department was evacuated and the square was cordoned off.

Reportedly, some people hid from the shooter by crouching on a ledge on the outside of the building:

[photo from X/Twitter; said to be people hiding from a shooter at Charles University in Prague]

No details regarding the identity of the victims or the shooter, or the possible motivations of the shooter, have been made available at this time.

[People evacuate the building at Charles University in Prague where the shooting took place. photo: AKtu.cz]

UPDATE: Reportedly, the shooter has been identified as a 24-year-old student at the university, who may have been on the run from police who were investigating his involvement in a violent death in a town outside of Prague.

UPDATE 2 (12/21/23): The New York Times reports:

  • the shooter killed 14 people
  • the shooter was a history student
  • police believe he shot his father at their family home in Kladno before heading into Prague
  • the shooter is believed to have been inspired by mass shootings that had taken place in Russia, based on social media posts he is believed to have made. One of the posts says, “I always wanted to kill. I thought I would be a maniac in the future.”
  • a police spokesman said of the shooter, “He had a lot of guns, special army guns, but all of these guns were legal.”
  • police had information “that an attack at the school was imminent” and so were already nearby when the shooting began.
University of Luxembourg Philosophy
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Patrick Lin
2 months ago

Heartbreaking, esp. as I was just visiting with some philosophers in Prague last month.

Early reports suggest that the Philosophy Dept. was targeted or at least that’s where it happened, not that the Phil. Dept, merely happened to be near the shooting: https://www.npr.org/2023/12/21/1220939974/prague-school-shooting-deaths

Rineke Verbrugge
Rineke Verbrugge
Reply to  Justin Weinberg
2 months ago

It seems that he wrote his 2022 Bachelor’s thesis at the Faculty of Philosophy, see

https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle/20.500.11956/175003/130335627.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Rineke Verbrugge
Rineke Verbrugge
Reply to  Rineke Verbrugge
2 months ago

Note that “Filosofická Fakulta” of Charles University is usually translated as “Faculty of Arts”, which also includes Sociology and History. The main faculty building, where the shooting happened, is located on Jan Palach square.

The Katedra Logiky (Chair of Logic) is located on Celetna, quite far from the main building (I worked there for half a year in 1993).

Karel Dobral
Karel Dobral
Reply to  Justin Weinberg
2 months ago

The building where the shooting took place is the main building of the Faculty of Philosophy, which is how Charles’s faculty of arts is called. The shooting appears to have happened on the 4th floor, whereas the Philosophy Department is on the 2nd floor.

Zenon Marko
Zenon Marko
2 months ago

Simply horrible. May those whose lives were so senselessly cut short rest in peace.

(And this hits home somehow, as my grandfather did his philosophy doctorate in that very department so many years ago).

Lisa S
Lisa S
2 months ago

This is a truly horrific event. I recently attended the annual memorial event in remembrance of those killed in the shooting at École polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989, in which 14 young women engineers were murdered. Many of my current colleagues were students nearby when this occurred and are haunted by it. I feel for the students and faculty who lived through this. My heart and condolences to the families and friends of those who have been killed.