A recently published letter from a British police officer addressed to Police Chief Martin Vondrášek revealed the beginning of a police crackdown on the Faculty of Arts at Charles University. The letter states that two non-uniformed policemen with only pistols were among the first to enter the faculty building, even though the assailant had long weapons. The description of the situation from the letter has now also been confirmed by police spokesman Ondřej Moravčík. According to him, several non-uniformed police officers from the order unit, from the intervention unit and from the criminal police service intervened at the faculty. According to Moravčík, the moment a policeman goes to such an event, he goes after the perpetrator.
In recent days, the Czech Embassy in London published a letter from a member of the London Metropolitan Police, who praised the intervention of the Czech police as quick and professional. A British police officer himself was near the faculty on 21 December 2023 and wrote about two plainclothes officers who were among the first to break into the faculty building.
Police spokesman Ondřej Moravčík has now confirmed the letter and its veracity for the Echo24 newspaper, saying that he does not know who exactly was among the first responders. However, there were many non-uniformed policemen on the scene. “Both uniformed and non-uniformed policemen immediately descended on the scene. And the first on the scene, as far as I know, was a colleague from the ranks of the non-uniformed, because he was a short distance from the place at the time, but I don’t know if he was the first to run inside, because they entered in several people,” said Ondřej Moravčík.
In the letter, the British police officer confessed his admiration for the intervening couple. “I believe their act is even more admirable in light of what I later learned from reports that the assailant was heavily armed with automatic weapons and had a large amount of ammunition. It appears that he would have easily overpowered the two police officers we saw who were armed only with pistols,” the British police officer said in the letter.
According to Moravčík, all the policemen in the area were heading for the faculty, and there were several non-uniformed policemen at the scene, both from the riot police, the intervention unit and some criminal investigators. However, according to Moravčík, the fact that they were not in uniform does not mean that they do not have ballistic protection. “If they had ballistic protection or not, you don’t know because they wear it on their bodies,” said Moravčík.
Moravčík also described the courage of the police officers who came to the faculty from the wider area. According to him, the policemen’s reaction was intuitive and self-evident to the policemen. “No, in such cases such orders do not come at all. The order is “relocate to the building immediately, there is an active attacker” and that’s it. There, the police officers proceed according to the agreement with the commander on the spot. And here specifically, they proceeded intuitively, they proceeded in a team. But no one told them to “just run in there with a gun and go shoot.” Every police officer has this in them, automatically, it is assumed. A policeman who has a weapon, when he goes here, it is assumed that he is going after the perpetrator and does not need any order for that,” said Moravčík when asked if the policemen went to the building voluntarily.
At the beginning of January, the police held a press conference where they described parts of the intervention at the FF UK and showed some footage of the intervening police officers. Non-uniformed members could also be seen on them. According to police chief Martin Vondrášek, the intervention was professional. He admitted only certain reservations in communication with the school. The incident is still under investigation, and the police therefore do not want to preliminarily publish the conclusions or comment further
The tragic shooting at the Faculty of Arts of the UK took place on December 21, 2023. The killer, who was himself a student at the faculty, shot and killed 14 people there and injured another 25. He then shot himself on the school sidewalk. Before he went to kill on the school grounds, he murdered his father in a house in Hostoun in Kladensko. Already on the day of the shooting at the faculty, the police came up with the version that the same perpetrator was also responsible for the murder of a man and an infant in Klánovické les, the perpetrator himself was supposed to confess to this in a letter that was subsequently found in a house in Hostoun.