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Prague in mourning after lethal mass capturing – however survivor says metropolis ‘will stand robust’ | World Information

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There may be snow billowing across the coronary heart of Prague and the skies are darkish and threatening. However a small crowd of individuals are merely standing, and staring.

They’re trying on the flickering candles and flowers which were left in entrance of the Charles College constructing, a memorial to those that got here right here and have been killed in essentially the most brutal approach.

From by way of the clouds of snow, Sergei Medvedev crosses the street, a thick gray woolen hat on his head and a bunch of flowers in his hand.

He’s right here to pay his personal respects, however Sergei shouldn’t be merely sympathetic to the struggling of others. He was there. Proper there.

Learn extra on this story:
Prague mass shooting: What do we know so far?
Bodycam footage shows police storming university building

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Sergei is a professor on the college, in addition to a radio broadcaster. He’s fluent and considerate; it is not exhausting to see why he has prospered as an educational.

Yesterday, he was giving a lecture on the constructing’s third flooring (“that nook over there,” he says, pointing) when he heard discordant noises.

He handed it off as a passing distraction. However then got here the police sirens, and the creeping sense of hazard.

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Sergei Medvedev, a professor on the Charles College, in addition to a radio broadcaster

Sergei Medvedev, a professor at the Charles University in Prague, as well as a radio broadcaster, said he and students barricaded themselves into the lecture theatre with chairs and tables.
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Employees and college students barricaded themselves right into a lecture theatre with chairs and tables throughout the capturing

“There was shouting within the hall, sirens in every single place, and we realised that one thing was unsuitable. We seemed out and the entire sq. had been cleared; there have been police all over.

“Then there have been photographs and we understood it was some sort of a terrorist act. So we blocked ourselves contained in the auditorium; we took all of the desks and chairs in direction of the doorways to lock the doorways.

“We turned out the lights and tried to steer clear of the doorways.

“At one level the particular forces broke in, checked the room, then left. Then there was additional shouting and capturing.

“Then an hour later the particular forces got here in for a second time, lay us on the ground and. Searched us fairly gently.

“They took us out of the constructing strolling down the steps. There was blood all over – blood on the steps, blood on the steps.”

It’s a terrifying image that he paints, but right here he seems to be composed.

Prague shooting
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Individuals additionally climbed out on to a ledge to cover from the shooter

“Everybody stayed calm. Everybody behaved bravely,” he says, thoughtfully.

“There have been a few dozen college students in that room and I knew that I used to be answerable for them. Once we ran, after we noticed the blood – you do not replicate on it then.

“You may have your arms in your head and you might be operating for security. It is like seeing a film of your self. You simply preserve taking the subsequent step. You retain shifting.”

He’s satisfied that Prague will come collectively within the wake of this terrible tragedy, however admits it is a shock for individuals who have taken with no consideration this metropolis’s status for being secure and peaceable.

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Video of police searching Prague killer

“We’ll stand robust,” he insists. After which he’s gone, to put his flowers, look into the flames of candles, and bear in mind those that have died or been injured.

These impromptu memorials have sprung up across the metropolis.

Individuals depart matches or lighters behind, in addition to additional candles, for individuals who got here to admire, however then resolve they need to be concerned.

And as we stand and watch, you may’t assist however be struck by the variety of folks sobbing and hugging. The grief is thick within the air, extra determined as a result of it was so shocking.

Giacomo, 20, is right here together with his good friend Max, 16. Each are 20 years {old}, shaking their heads in disbelief.

People light candles on Jan Palach Square for the victims of the shooting from the previous day at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, in Prague, Czech Republic, on December 22, 2023. Twenty-four-year-old student shot dead 14 people and wounded 25 others at the school. Photo/Roman Vondrous (CTK via AP Images)
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Individuals gentle candles on Jan Palach Sq.. Pic: Roman Vondrous (CTK through AP Pictures)

People light candles on Jan Palach Square for the victims of the shooting from the previous day at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, in Prague, Czech Republic, on December 22, 2023. Twenty-four-year-old student shot dead 14 people and wounded 25 others at the school. Photo/Roman Vondrous (CTK via AP Images)
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Pic: Roman Vondrous (CTK through AP Pictures)

“The man was there,” says Max, gesturing in direction of the balcony the place David Kozak stood and fired out into the road.

“He was capturing – I heard photographs with the sniper [rifle] and it was loopy…I’ve by no means heard somebody capturing earlier than.”

Giacomo agrees: “We’re very unhappy that this occurred – that so many younger folks died, particularly at Christmas.

“The concept somebody goes to the college and would not come again – it is horrible.”

And it’s a dreadful thought, performed out in essentially the most horrible approach.

The nation feels damaged.



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