New shooting in Serbia: 8 dead, 13 injured
Steph Deschamps / May 5, 2023
A new shooting left eight people dead and 13 wounded Thursday night in Serbia, a day after an unprecedented school shooting in the country.
A gunman opened fire with automatic weapons on a group of people from a moving vehicle near the town of Mladenovac, about 60 km south of Belgrade, and then fled, state-run television RTS reported. A suspected perpetrator was arrested by police later this morning.
Police blocked the road leading to the villages of Malo Orasje and Dubona, in the area where the shooting occurred, according to an AFP photographer on the scene. Numerous police and ambulances have been dispatched to the scene, and helicopters are flying overhead.
Police said they had arrested the alleged perpetrator, announced the national television (RTS). "RTS has learned that the murderer was arrested near Kragujevac," in central Serbia, the national channel said, following a manhunt launched after the killing late Thursday night in several villages near Belgrade.
The Serbian Minister of the Interior, Bratislav Gasic, called the events a "terrorist act ».
Concerned relatives gathered outside the Belgrade emergency medical center, where at least eight of the injured were hospitalized, TV station N1 reported. Health Minister Danica Grujicic briefly visited the center.
This new shooting came a day after a 13-year-old student shot and killed eight children and a custodian in a Belgrade school, a killing that deeply shocked the country.
Seven people - six students and a teacher - were also injured in the attack, and two were still in critical condition Thursday after undergoing a series of surgeries.
The assailant was arrested shortly after the shooting in the schoolyard, where he was waiting for police to arrive, and was placed in a psychiatric hospital.
The father of the shooter, a well-known doctor and owner of the weapon used, was arrested and is to be heard Friday by a prosecutor. The mother was also arrested.
Three days of national mourning have been declared starting Friday. Most of the celebrations and events planned will be cancelled. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic lamented "one of the most difficult days in the contemporary history" of Serbia.
Some 765,000 weapons, including more than 232,000 pistols, are legally registered in Serbia, a country of about seven million people.
In April 2013, a villager shot and killed 13 people, including family members and neighbors, not far from Mladenovac, the same area as Thursday night's shooting.
The Ministry of the Interior announced on Thursday checks on homes to see if weapons were kept in safes in accordance with the rules. Offenders will have their weapons confiscated.