Updated 17 minutes ago
Eight pupils and a member of the security guard lost their lives in a shooting at an elementary school in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Wednesday, the Tanjug news agency reports, citing a source from the Ministry of the Interior. The suspect in the shooting is a 14-year-old boy, who was detained by the police. The motive is not yet known. Other people are apparently injured.
According to available information, a seventh-grader entered the school building in the center of Belgrade on Wednesday morning and started shooting at his classmates. He pulled out the weapon in class, it all took a few minutes, the B92 server wrote. The police arrested him in the school yard. In the meantime, they closed the area around the school, which is located in the Vračar district.
“He first shot the teacher and then started shooting randomly,” Milan Milošević, the father of one of the students who was in the class, told N1 television, adding that his daughter managed to escape. “They say the shooter was quiet and a good student. He recently joined their class,” added Milošević, who hurried to the school.
“I saw children running out of the school and screaming. Parents came, they panicked. I heard three shots,” said a girl who attends a high school adjacent to the school facility where the shooting took place, according to RTS television.
According to local authorities, the teacher is fighting for her life in the hospital. In addition to her, paramedics also hospitalized six children, the Ministry of the Interior said. One of the girls has serious head injuries and is undergoing surgery.
Shootings of people are relatively rare in Serbia, which has very strict gun laws, Reuters noted. However, according to the agency, the Western Balkans are awash with hundreds of thousands of illegally held weapons after the wars of the 1990s. Serbian authorities have issued several amnesties for their owners to surrender or register these weapons.
In 2013, 60-year-old Ljubiša Bogdanović killed 14 people in the village of Velika Ivanča in the worst shooting of people in Serbia since the end of the Balkan wars. In 2007, 38-year-old Nikola Radosavljević shot at passers-by in the village of Jabukovac, shooting nine people and injuring five. In 2015, a man named Rade Šefer killed six guests at his son’s wedding, and a year later Siniša Zlatić killed five people in a cafe in the village of Žitište, Reuters recalled.
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