Philosophy Student Is Accused in Prague Mass Shooting Rampage

david kozak David Kozak

David Kozak was a 24-year-old student at Charles University in Prague who is accused of perpetrating a mass shooting rampage on December 21 that left at least 15 people dead as students climbed out of windows in harrowing scenes captured on video, according to news reports from the Czech Republic.

“On Thursday afternoon, the police announced a search for David Kozák, which they linked to a case of violent death in the village of Kladensko. Subsequently, it became clear that the wanted man was the shooter who later in the afternoon killed ten people and injured dozens more at the Faculty of Philosophy in Prague,” reported, a major news site in the Czech Republic. The news site gave the suspect’s name in Czech as Davidu Kozákovi.

The casualty count grew throughout the day. The mass shooter killed 15 people and injured at least 24, Czech authorities said in a news conference, according to the Czech-language news site,

Another Czech-language site,, identified the gunman as David K. from Kladensk.

According to BBC, the first victim was Kozak’s father. The shooting is the worst mass shooting in the Czech Republic’s modern history, BBC reported.

“The Czech Republic has never experienced a similar act. The tragedy is profound and will have many other consequences,” Minister Vít Rakušan said, according to Lidovky.

Videos also showed panic as people fled the scene.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. David Kozak, a Philosophy Student, Was Inspired by Other Mass Shootings, Reports Say

david kozak

Novinky.czDavid Kozak.

Police confirmed “the shooter was inspired by similar massacres that have taken place abroad,” according to BBC.

Heavy is working to verify a Telegram account in the shooter’s name. The account is in Russian and has been widely shared on social media. The first post, on December 9, reads, “This will be my diary as I move towards school shooting.”

In the Telegram account, the writer sketched out his inspiration for mass shootings, writing, “I always wanted to kill, I thought I would become a maniac in the future.. Then when Ilnaz did the shooting, I realized that it was much more profitable to do mass murders rather than serial ones. I sat.. Waited.. Dreamed.. Wanted..” Ilnaz Galyaviev is a Russian school shooter. However, authorities have not yet verified the authenticity of the account.

Another post on the Telegram page reads, “I hate the world and want to leave as much pain as possible.”

According to Idnes, the police did confirm that the gunman “wrote notes on the social network that indicate that he was planning the murder,” quoting Police Chief Martin Vondrášek as saying, “that person was inspired by a similar terrible event abroad.”

According to the Associated Press, Prague’s mayor said the philosophy department of Charles University was evacuated. reported that Kozak “was a student at the Faculty of Philosophy.” The motive is not clear, the site reported. According to BBC, the mass shooting is not believed to be tied to international terrorism.

“The police cordoned off the area around the faculty building and asked the residents of nearby houses not to go out,” the site reported.

2. David Kozak, Who Was Studying the History of Poland, Is Now Dead, Reports Say

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The shooter is dead, according to CTV News.

Police told Lidovky that the suspect may have taken his own life, but how he died is still under investigation.

According to, “Kozák graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history-European studies and then continued with a subsequent master’s degree in history. He focused on the history of Poland.”

Idnes reported that the suspect in May “won the Marian Szyjkowski Prize for his bachelor’s thesis, awarded by the Polish Institute in Prague for works focused on Poland since 2018.”

Photos showed a makeshift barricade in a classroom.

3. Czech Republic Police Say the Suspect Was Supposed to Give a Lecture

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Police said in a news conference that they were investigating the earlier shooting when they realized the suspect was supposed to give a lecture at the university that afternoon, according to the Czech language site,

“We found out that he was supposed to give a lecture at 2 p.m. That is why we immediately came to Celetná street to the building of the Faculty of Philosophy, where we carried out an evacuation,” said the police chief.

“A dead man who died a violent death was found in Hostoun in the afternoon. In connection with that, we announced a search for another man, born in 1999, who is suspected of this violent activity. Together with our colleagues from Prague, we are checking and evaluating whether this event is related to the event at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in the center,” Idnes quoted police as saying.

Policie CR, the police force of the Czech Republic, wrote on X, “We have already evacuated the entire building and a pyrotechnic inspection is currently underway.”

They wrote, “Based on initial information, we can confirm that there are dead and injured people at the scene.”

Initially, police wrote, “We are currently responding to a reported shooting at a school in Náměstí Jan Palach. At the moment, all components of the IZS are going to the place. We will provide more information as soon as possible. #policiepha.”

According to NPR, the university building where the shooting occurred is located in the heart of Prague. The “building forms part of the square and faces a bridge across the river with a view of Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech presidency,” NPR reported.

4. Video Showed Students on a Window Ledge & a Witness Says David Kozak Was Shooting Toward the Manes Bridge

Videos showed students perched on a window ledge.

Another video captured the sound of gunshots as students took refuge in a classroom.

Petr Nedoma, director of the Rudolfinum Gallery, told Czech TV he saw the shooter, according to Sky News.

“I saw a young person on the gallery who had some weapon in his hand, like an automatic weapon, and shooting toward the Manes Bridge, repeatedly, with some interruptions,” he said.

Nedoma said the gunman eventually tossed the weapon “down on the street, where it landed on a pedestrian crossing,” Sky News reported.

5. Tourists Described Running for Safety as the Shooter, a Legal Gun Owner With an ‘Arsenal’ of Weapons, Opened Fire

Joe Hyland, 18, from Truro, Cornwall, was one of the tourists in Prague who was caught up in the scare, according to BBC.

“We heard gunshots and ran for cover in the metro after police shouted at everyone to run. It was very frightening,” he told BBC.

“All of a sudden people started running. We didn’t know what was going on. We saw police going past us. They were shouting ‘run.'”

Police said the suspect was a legal gun owner, Lidovky reported, and “had a whole arsenal of them at home.” Police were examining a possible “improvised explosive device,” the site reported.

A translation of a police post on X reads, “At 5:45 p.m., a press briefing will be held at the intersection of November 17 and Břehová streets, at which the police president and the minister of the interior will be present, who will provide information about this extraordinary event.”

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