The Czech Republic has declared Saturday a day of mourning in honour of the 14 lives lost and 25 individuals wounded in what is now recognised as the worst mass shooting in the country’s modern history.

The assailant, identified as 24-year-old student David Kozák, carried out the premeditated violent attack in the philosophy department building of the university. According to City Police Chief Martin Vondrášek, the incident resulted in scenes of panic both inside and outside the university. The students barricaded doors and attempted escapes via narrow ledges.

Kozák is believed to have first killed his father at his residence west of Prague before perpetrating the mass shooting at the university. The police chief disclosed that the suspect was an excellent student with no criminal record. It remains uncertain whether Kozák took his own life or was shot by law enforcement during the response.

Vondrášek added that the attacker drew inspiration from a similar event abroad, although specific details were not disclosed. Interior Minister Vit Rakušan emphasized that there is no indication of a connection between the incident and international terrorism.

The shooting occurred at the university’s Faculty of Arts building, situated near a bustling tourist area in Prague’s Old Town, close to the historic Old Town Square. Jakob Weizman, a journalist and master’s student, suggested that the shooter moved from the interior of the faculty to an outside balcony, firing at people.

Police released body-camera footage revealing special units covering the university building, conducting searches, and providing first aid to victims.

An impromptu vigil took place outside the university headquarters on Friday, with mourners lighting candles to pay respects to the victims. Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Interior Minister Rakušan laid flowers at the university headquarters, where a provisional memorial for the victims was established.

Police shared “relevant information” indicating that Kozák might have been involved in a separate double murder of a man and his two-month-old daughter in the east of Prague earlier in the month. The suspect is reported to have owned multiple firearms. The Czech Republic’s gun laws are relatively lenient compared to the rest of the countries in Europe. Citizens have a legal right to bear arms, subject to competence tests.

The Czech Republic has a history of rare but impactful gun-related incidents, such as the 2019 shooting in Ostrava, where a gunman killed six people in a hospital waiting room, and the 2015 shooting in Uhersky Brod, where eight people lost their lives.