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Prague searches for motive in its worst shooting since World War II era – Times of India


Investigators Friday were working to establish a motive for a deadly gun rampage in the centre of Prague a day earlier amid swirling questions and nationwide mourning over the Czech Republic’s worst mass shooting since the immediate aftermath of World War II. The gunfire at Charles University turned the historic centre of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities into a scene of carnage, its festive mood pierced by screams and the din of sirens. Tourists ran for safety. while some students barricaded themselves in classrooms. Others climbed out of windows, hiding on the ledge of a building.
The gunman killed 14 people and wounded 25 others before fatally shooting himself when the police surrounded him on the rooftop of the building, the authorities said. The Czech Republic declared Saturday a day of national mourning. President Petr Pavel, who appealed for national unity, expressed gratitude for an outpouring of support.
No foreign nationals were killed in the attack, but one person from the Netherlands and two people from the UAE were among the wounded. The authorities did not suggest a motive, having earlier ruled out any connection to terrorism, but said the gunman appeared to have acted alone. They also pushed back on criticism of the police response to the shooting – for hours, the authorities were one step behind the assailant.
The authorities identified the gunman as David K. He is a suspect in the murder of a baby and its father last week in Klanovice Forest. The police are also investigating whether the gunman was linked to the expletive-laden messages vowing mass murder posted in Russian on Telegram. “I hate the world and want to leave as much pain as possible,” read a message posted three days before Thursday’s massacre. “I want to do a school shooting and possibly suicide.”


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