Prague shooting: Czech Republic holds national day of mourning after country's worst mass killing

A minute's silence has been held in the Czech Republic during a national day of mourning, after 14 people were killed by gunman David Kozak, Alex Iszatt reports

he Czech Republic came to a standstill at midday on Saturday as part of a national day of mourning after the deadliest mass killing in the country's history.

Student David Kozak went on a dayslong violent rampage, ending in a shooting at the university he attended in Prague which left 14 dead and dozens wounded. The attack happened in a philosophy department building at Charles University.

The brutal incident on Thursday was also the first school or college shooting in the Czech Republic, leaving the nation and its top officials stunned.

Investigators believe Kozak also killed his own father earlier in the day, as well as another man and a baby last week.

Student David Kozak was responsible for the shooting, police say.

National flags on public buildings were at half-staff and bells tolled at midday.

A Mass at St. Vitus cathedral in Prague, the biggest in the country, was held for the victims.

President Petr Pavel and speakers of both houses of Parliament attended the service that was open to everyone.

"We're all still in a shock in our own ways," Prague archbishop Jan Graubner said. “We need to clearly condemn what happened but we also need to look into the future.”

“Nobody should be left alone in these tough moments,” Charles University rector Milena Kralickova said in her remarks toward the end of the Mass.

Robert Hanus, another of the vigil's attendees, said everyone should come together to take a stand against the attack.

“This shouldn't be normalised,” he said.

The university’s rector, Milena Kralickova, was also among the throngs lighting candles. "The academic community is shaken, deeply shaken,” she said.

The Czech government declared Saturday a national day of mourning.

Lenka Hlávková, the head of the Institute of Musicology at the university’s Faculty of Arts, was killed by student David Kozak. Credit: Institute of Musicology/Facebook

The head of the university's musicology department, Lenka Hlávková, was the first victim to be named after her death was confirmed by the Institute of Music Sciences.

Czech police released bodycam footage of their operation during the attack in which 25 people were injured, including three foreign nationals, two from United Arab Emirates and one from the Netherlands.

Officials said 13 people died at the scene in the Faculty of Arts and one died later in hospital. 

Footage released by police of officers searching the university

Kozak died at the scene in Jan Palach Square, a busy tourist area. Police say it was not terror-related.

Petr Matejcek, the director of the police regional headquarters in Prague, said the gunman killed himself on the balcony of the university building when police officers approached him.

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