Prague gunman murdered baby in woods days before university attack

Czech police do not disclose contents of letter that David Kozak wrote

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 28 December 2023 14:02 GMT
Related: People cling to Prague university building ledge during mass shooting

Prague university shooter David Kozak had confessed in a letter to killing a two-month-old baby girl and her 32-year-old father in a forest just days before the rampage on 21 December, police said.

The letter was found at Kozak’s home in the central Czech town of Hostoun, according to reports.

Czech police spokesperson Jan Danek confirmed the existence of the letter but did not disclose its contents due to the ongoing investigation, the daily Deník N reported.

“I can confirm that we secured a letter in Hostoun where the perpetrator wrote that he committed the attack” on the 32-year-old father and his daughter, Mr Danek said.

“The contents of the document cannot be made public at this time due to the ongoing investigation into the entire incident.”

Earlier, authorities had identified Kozak as a suspect in the double murders of the father and infant, discovered in a national forest on 15 December.

Less than a week before Kozak carried out the mass shootings at the Charles University in central Prague, the bodies of the two victims – seemingly chosen at random – were found in the Klanovicky les National Forest on 15 December.

The mass shooting at Charles University left 14 people dead and 25 injured.

Kozak, armed with an AR-15, entered the university, claiming to have killed his father that morning. He opened fire on the fourth floor of Charles University in Jan Palach Square shortly after 3pm, with chilling images appearing of the shooter dressed in black, taking aim from a balcony with a large gun.

Police raced to the scene and evacuated students and tourists near the building in the city centre, with Kozak’s body found a short while later with “devastating injuries”. Authorities have confirmed that the 24 year-old was a history student at the university and that he acted alone.

He is believed to have been inspired by a school shooting carried out by 14-year-old schoolgirl in Russia earlier this month, and wrote on Telegram: “I want to do a school shooting and possibly suicide.” Kozak later died by suicide.

The Czech government declared 23 December a national day of mourning in the wake of the country’s worst mass shooting.

Prime minister Petr Fiala expressed deep sorrow and disgust, emphasising the need to come together to show respect for the victims in the face of this “senseless” violence.

“There is absolutely no explanation, no justification for this. Like many of you, I am feeling a deep sorrow and disgust over this incomprehensible and brutal violence,” Fiala said.

“At this dark hour, we should come together and respect each other, to show our respect for the victims.”

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