8 Dead in Shooting in Serbia, Day After School Massacre That Killed 9
Eight people were killed and 13 others wounded late Thursday near Belgrade, Serbia, in the nation’s second mass shooting in as many days, according to Serbian media.
The police were looking for a 21-year-old male suspect, according to RTS, Serbia’s public broadcaster. They issued a warrant for the attacker and surrounded the area where they believed he was hiding, the report said.
The shooting took place at 11 p.m. local time, Serbia’s Interior Ministry told CNN. The gunman used an automatic weapon from a moving vehicle near Mladenovac, a town south of the capital, and fled the scene after the attack, RTS said.
Serbia’s interior minister, Bratislav Gasic, called the shooting “a terrorist act,” RTS reported.
Eight people who were seriously injured were transported to an emergency center, the broadcaster said. Police units and helicopters were deployed for the manhunt, and emergency vehicles were dispatched to Mladenovac.
The Serbian authorities did not offer any details about a motive for the shooting, according to N1, a Serbian cable news channel.
The shooting came a day after a seventh-grade student armed with pistols and Molotov cocktails fatally shot eight children and a security guard at his school in Belgrade, plunging the Serbian capital into grief and stunning the entire country.
The Serbian police reported several other incidents involving children with weapons or plans for attacks on Thursday, RTS reported. In Obrenovac, a town southwest of Belgrade, they said a student brandished a plastic gun after a minute of silence for the victims of the earlier shooting. In Belgrade, a 9-year-old was said to have made a “shooting list” modeled after Wednesday’s massacre. In Kaludjerica, southeast of Belgrade, the police said they discovered a student’s plan for a mass shooting. At another school in Belgrade, RTS reported, a former student injured a student and a teacher with a knife.
Serbia has historically had a high level of gun ownership compared with other countries — because of its recent history of armed conflict and a cultural tradition of owning guns — but has not had high levels of gun violence, according to an October 2022 report by the Flemish Peace Institute, an independent research group.
But Serbia has seen several mass shootings in recent years: In 2016, a man killed five people at a cafe in northern Serbia. In 2015, a man killed four people after his son’s wedding, including his wife, his new daughter-in-law and her parents. In 2013, a 60-year-old veteran of the Balkan wars killed 13 people, including relatives and neighbors, in the village of Velika Ivanca near Belgrade. And, in July 2007, a 38-year-old man killed nine people who had been passing by on a street in the village of Jabukovac in eastern Serbia.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.
Matej Leskovsek contributed translation.
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